HealthcarePapers 7(4) June 2007 : 54-60.doi:10.12927/hcpap..18999

Why Healthcare Renewal Matters: Lessons from Diabetes

Diane E. Watson, Michael Hillmer, Farrah Prebtani and Kira Leeb


In this commentary, we offer evidence about the burden of chronic conditions and use diabetes as a case study to reveal the gap between recommended and actual care in Canada. What we found through our research is cause for concern - namely, that the care that Canadians with diabetes receive is simply not good enough (an inconvenient truth) and that the country has tremendous untapped potential to prevent chronic illness and improve the quality of care (a convenient truth). Our work and the work of others help Canadians understand the benefits that will accrue to them from investments to close the gap between what we know and what we do.

Given the extent of recent initiatives highlighted in this commentary - initiatives that align with evidence regarding optimal prevention and chronic illness care - we should expect governments to simultaneously invest in assessing the degree to which progress is being attained. Without better data, more transparency and comprehensive reporting, Canadians will not be kept fully informed about the results of critical healthcare investments and governments will find it increasingly difficult to demonstrate that they are meeting their commitments.



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