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Shared Responsibility - PHP1 - Introduction to Public Health

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PHP1 - Introduction to Public Health

Table of Contents Lesson 4 - How Public Health Operates Shared Responsibility

Shared Responsibility

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Shared Responsibility - PHP1 - Introduction to Public Health

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Shared Responsibility
In Canada, the federal, provincial and territorial governments, and regional or local governing
bodies all share responsibility to develop and implement public health policies, research, services
and programs. Both the federal and provincial/territorial governments are subject to regulations and
legislation about public health. Public health practitioners are interspersed throughout the system,
working at the federal, provincial/territorial or regional/local level.
One of the greatest challenges is to ensure that information and decision making is shared among
the various levels of government. This is essential if we are to achieve a seamless, integrated
approach to public health and to manage health crises.

Federal Level

The Public Health Agency of Canada, which is headquartered in Ottawa and Winnipeg, leads public
health activities at the federal level. The Agency oversees national laboratories in Winnipeg and
Guelph and regional offices across the country. It includes Centres for Chronic Disease Prevention
and Control, Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, Emergency Preparedness and Response,
Surveillance Coordination, Healthy Human Development and the Office of Public Health Practice.
Health Canada and other federal agencies also deal with a variety of public health concerns,
including food safety and the regulation of drugs. The federal government also has jurisdiction over
issues related to national borders and international concerns.

Provincial/Territorial Level

From a constitutional perspective, public health services are primarily under the authority and
funding operations of the provinces and territories. Thus, there are essentially 13 different ways that
public health is carried out in Canada. The provincial and territorial governments provide funding
and direction to their respective health authorities, departments or units.

Regional/Local Level

Regional and/or local public health organizations are primarily responsible to deliver services and
work with partners on broader issues. There are four patterns of governance of local services in
Canada. Regional health authorities provide all health services within a defined geographical area.
Regional/District Boards are responsible for public health and other community-based services in
an area, but not for personal medical care services. Local Boards serve either single or multiple
municipalities or counties for public health and some other community services. In
Prince Edward Island and the three Northern Territories, services are delivered at the provincial

Rough estimates (200203) suggest that total public health expenditures in Canada range from $2 to
$2.8 billion. This accounts for only 1.8 to 2.5 percent (%) of total expenditures on health. Although
the prevention of disease and injury can save the overall system money, spending on individual care
is about thirty times greater than public health spending.
Lesson 4 How Public Health Operates
Shared Responsibility

11/26/2015 12:49 PM

Shared Responsibility - PHP1 - Introduction to Public Health

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Activity Details
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11/26/2015 12:49 PM