Values and Canadian Health Care: An Alberta Exploration
Wilson, Donna M.
Kieser, Doris M.
Nursing Ethics. 1996 Mar; 3(1): 9-15.
In March 1994, a health care conference was held in Edmonton, Alberta, at which the values of conference participants towards health care were systematically recorded and analysed. This exploration is significant because the values that underpin the structure of the current publicly-funded and administered Canadian health care system rarely enter current discussions regarding health care system reform. Rather, economic and other sociopolitical forces now seem to be having a major impact on plans and actual changes within the health care system. Thus, the underlying attitudes and beliefs of Canadians towards health care have not been articulated or given due credence. The conference participants identified three dominant values: (1) the dignity of the human person as an individual and social being; (2) respect for pluralism and difference; and (3) accountability. These values were found to be robust, in that they sustain a focus on the 'common good'. The common good is the core of the Canadian health care system, and is enshrined in the 1984 Canada Health Act. Conceptually, these values could also lead to significant changes in health care, in keeping with the common good, particularly those changes focusing on the current deficiencies of the Canadian health care system.
Accountability; Administrators; Attitudes; Common Good; Communitarianism; Cultural Pluralism; Economics; Education; Health; Health Care; Health Care Delivery; Health Education; Health Insurance; Health Personnel; Human Rights; Humanism; Insurance; Legislation; Minority Groups; National Health Insurance; Nurses; Public Policy; Rights; Values;
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