Sustainable Health Care

If everything can be fixed with a magic pill, then it would be simple to have sustainable health care. But life is never this simple, neither is health care. As I look at the four ingredients shared by Federal Health Minister Dr. Jane Philpott for a sustainable health care, I can’t help but think that all of us need to be part of the equation here – that individually and collectively, we need to be responsible and accountable for our own health to achieve sustainable health care.

According to Dr. Jane Philpott, the four ingredients for sustainable health care are to:

  1. Priortize social determinants of health
  2. Uphold the Canada Health Act
  3. Strengthen primary care including home care
  4. Build systems centered on patients


Fundamentally, the four ingredients are important. But we can have to greatest advancement of digital health or a fabulous network and resources for primary care and home care but if we are always looking at a high demand of health care resources from the consumers in the community, it will never sustain. We can’t feed ourselves with unhealthy food, continue to ignore the stressful and fast pace lifestyle that we all live in and expect to show up at a doctor’s office one day or emergency room to fix everything with one visit, or one pill, or one intervention. It requires effort from us all to take care of ourselves. Health is precious and everyone needs to be accountable and responsible.  When I say we all need to take care of ourselves, I mean we all need to properly nourish our bodies with proper nutrition, allow time to exercise, address our mental health issues and connect with the community and provide support for those who are around us in whatever way possible.

Perhaps a fancy way of saying all these is to that everyone should do his or her part to engage in Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Otherwise, no matter how we restructure our system, develop different strategies to minimize costs, or build new innovations in our health care system, it will never be sustainable  – not if we don’t do our parts, individually and collectively.


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My name is Cynthia Leung and I am a practicing pharmacist in Kingston Ontario, Canada. This blog is for me to share my ideas, opinions and perspectives on how medications are used in our health care system. Note that these posts are my own opinions and do not represent the opinions of my current or former employers and / or organizations that I may belong to. Any possible case scenarios described in my posts would be modified to maintain patient confidentiality. This blog is not a platform for professional advise for patients or health care providers and the content is not meant to support any clinical decisions or replace professional opinions. Also the images are either taken or created by the author, or adapted with permissions. I hope you will enjoy reading my posts!

2 thoughts on “Sustainable Health Care”

  1. Of course what you say makes a lot of sense. But I feel like there is already a lot of judgement on the chronically ill that somehow they brought it upon themselves. Though I do not think that is how you meant, it does kind of feed into that idea. I feel like most people with chronic illnesses probably have some genetic predisposition to their problems, which then combined with environmental factors (including stress, fast-paced lifestyle, etc.), becomes an ugly reality for them. After all, most people live a high-stress, fast-paced lifestyle and never develop a chronic illness! I know I am a dreamer (perhaps I’m not the only one! 😉 ), but I would like to see the advent of personal genomic medicine where we have better biomarkers which can predict who is predisposed to developing illnesses like FM, so that then they can take preemptive steps to prevent it, like you suggested.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment. You brought up an important point – the prejudice on people with different illnesses, or the lack of empathy even from health care professionals. I too have experience it myself. We don’t always have all the answers and are still searching… but sometimes a little empathy goes along way. But the system is set up that one person only looks at one area, and another specialty looks at another..sometimes left for the patient to figure things out which is unfair. I feel that we as a society has lost the sense we need to take care of ourselves and people around us, that there is an attitude that “this isn’t my problem”. You are correct – some diseases have genetic predisposition..but there are also environmental factors that we can control. For example we can all feel up and down but when we have a good social support system, we can cope better. that’s what I mean that we all should take responsibility for our health as well as those around us – think how we can support each other rather than waiting for answer from the health system… Good luck with your journey to finding more about Fibromyalgia. I also think we need more public awareness of the condition so people understand better instead of unfairly making assumption on people affected by it.

      Liked by 1 person

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