Friday, November 11, 2011

[EQ] Addressing Health and Emerging Global Issues in Canada

2011 Global Health Conference in Montreal 13-15 November


Addressing Health and Emerging Global Issues in Canada

McMaster Health Forum, November 2011
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada - ISSN 1925-2277

Steering Committee: John Lavis & Steven Hoffman (McMaster University); Chantal Blouin (Carleton University); Janet Beauvais, Nick Drager & Laurette Dubé (McGill University); and Jenilee Guebert, John Kirton & James Orbinski (University of Toronto).

Issue Brief:
Addressing Health and Emerging Global Issues in Canada [39p.]

Topic overview [2p.]

Dialogue summary [13p.]

Video interviews [12 videos]


An issue brief drawing on research evidence to describe the challenges related to emerging global issues, and offering three options for addressing the problem, as well as implementation considerations, was produced to inform a stakeholder dialogue convened earlier this year by the McMaster Health Forum (12 May 2011).

“……An increasing number of global issues have emerged as key determinants of health. Governments around the world are recognizing the importance of considering and acting upon these global issues as a way to protect and improve the health of their citizens.
Specifically, these governments have started to respond to this challenge by integrating national leadership across the health and ‘non-health’ spheres (5) and investing heavily in the ‘architecture’ and domestic partnerships necessary to support them (6-13). Some have also promised enhanced contributions to broader global health with the view that the absence of health in one part of the world affects the health of people everywhere (7).
Indeed, research suggests that such national investments in global health efforts may not only contribute to sustainable development, trade, human rights, humanitarian relief work and global security, but also work to enhance the health of the investor’s own citizens…….






Emerging global issues that can affect health

1. People are increasingly mobile and travel over longer distances than ever before

2. Cross-border trade of goods, services and investments has reached unprecedented levels

3. Agriculture is increasingly a single worldwide integrated market with food sourced globally

4. Damage to the environment and depletion of its resources is occurring at increasing speeds

5. Information and communication technology lets people connect across vast distances

6. Issues are increasingly addressed through international law, regulations and standards

Additional equity-related observations about these emerging global issues

Where collaboration across traditional divides is needed to (prepare to) address these issues

1. Working across departments within the federal government

2. Collaboration among federal, provincial and territorial governments

3. Collaboration between government and stakeholders

4. Collaboration between Canada and other countries


Option 1 – Support mutual learning across sectors

Option 2 – Coordinate government action and provide a framework for stakeholder action

Option 3 – Undertake new initiatives that provide value for money

Looping back to our understanding of the problem


Potential barriers to implementing the three options

Strategies for addressing potential barriers to implementing the three options

1. Engage non-health sectors in the emerging global issues that affect health

2. Clearly articulate the value-for-money proposition

3. Communicating benefits to Canadians

Looping back to our understanding of the problem


The issue brief and the stakeholder dialogue were funded primarily through Health Canada’s International Health Grants Program. The Global Health Research Initiative provided funding for the translation into French. Additional financial contributions to support the participation of key individuals in the stakeholder dialogue were provided by the British High Commission to Canada, McMaster University (through both the Office of the Vice President, Research and International Affairs, and the Office of the Associate Vice-President, Academic, Faculty of Health Sciences), and the Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services (through a grant from Norad, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation). The views expressed in these outputs should not be taken to represent the views of any of the financial contributors.



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