HealthcarePapers 8(2) April 2008 : 39-44.doi:10.12927/hcpap.2008.19707

Primary Healthcare Renewal in Canada: A Glass Half Empty?

Mary van Soeren, Christina Hurlock-Chorostecki, Pamela Pogue and Jane Sanders


Primary healthcare renewal was an important government initiative arising in the early 21st century. This sector of the healthcare system in Canada had been underresourced and ignored for decades. Recent changes include the development of salaried models for physician care, the use of other professionals in primary care, the integration of inter-professional teams, funding for information management systems and some incentives to provide directed primary care services. However, these changes are limited by a lack of overall policy direction to drive innovation, the absence of a shift in the locus of control of healthcare, a lack of education for healthcare providers to support inter-professional team-based practices and a failure to be more accountable to the Canadian public's needs. Without these innovations, the primary healthcare system will again be overwhelmed by future healthcare needs. Based on these limitations, we question whether this renewal represents lasting change in primary healthcare or a band-aid solution to the continued issue of primary healthcare delivery.



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