The respective roles of government, academia and health authorities in supporting health systems and service delivery research in the context of health policy making have often been unclear. A new strategy is necessary, one that encompasses the interdependence of research and practice and respects different kinds of knowledge and the needs and capacity of all stakeholders. Reform efforts to date have focused mainly on structural change and genuine collaboration has been pushed to the back seat. A major challenge in the health policy making process is expressing not just what we think but how we think, which requires us to be self-aware and critically reflective on how we make sense of our day-to-day realities. Using an analogy with philosophical roots, this essay explores health services research in the context of the BC health system and examines how such research and related activities can be contextualized, understood and applied in health policy making.
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