[This article was originally published in HealthcarePapers 13(3)]

The healthcare system in Canada is undergoing significant transformation in response to three major interrelated pressures: the overall burden of illness is rising, patients are getting poor quality of care and healthcare costs are inexorably rising. One idea to guide this change is to transform the primary care system into a community-based primary healthcare (CBPH) system. This paper discusses, in particular, the readiness of public health to participate in the transformation to a CBPH system.