HealthcarePapers 12(2) July 2012 : 34-39.doi:10.12927/hcpap.2012.22981

Of Honey and Health Policy: The Limits of Sweet, Sticky Substances in Reforming Primary Care

Danielle Martin


It is a well-known axiom that one attracts more flies with honey than vinegar. Nowhere has this approach been taken more to heart than in the past decade of primary care policy in Canada. Governments, physician and nursing organizations and regional health authorities have invested in a lot of "honey" to draw healthcare providers onto a path from single-physician offices to team-based care with flexible hours and a population-based approach. In the lead essay for this edition of Healthcare Papers, Kates and colleagues have outlined a framework that embraces this paradigm. Their articulation of a framework is a place to start, but it can only be a start. To make that framework come alive, a wider variety of policy tools will be needed than have been used thus far, and by a wider variety of actors. Within the healthcare workforce itself, leadership, vision and the courage to hold ourselves to account for changes to primary care are needed.



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