Do We Care?: Renewing Canada's Commitment to Health


166 pages
ISBN 0-7735-1878-9
DDC 362.1'0971




Edited by Margaret A. Somerville
Reviewed by Marilyn Mardiros

Marilyn Mardiros is an associate professor of health sciences at the
University of Ottawa.


Do We Care? is based on the proceedings of the first Directions for
Canadian Health Care conference. The conference addressed public-policy
matters in health, as well as current and proposed health-care reform.
The 22 contributors were selected for their diverse transdisciplinary
perspectives and backgrounds (professionals, academics, researchers, and
politicians, past and present).

John Ralston Saul begins the book’s journey toward building a
framework for sound policy in health care. The reader is challenged to
understand the need for rational, informed public debate as a means of
developing policy oriented toward patient-centred health care. The
limitations and fallacies of corporatist structures and the goal of
saving medicare through management efficiency and cost cutting are made
explicit, as is the need to develop home care that is fully integrated
into medicare.

Health and health care are firmly rooted in political processes. We
learn how an underfunded public-health system will inevitably lead to
multiple funders and hence a multiple-tier system. The consensus is that
the fewer the funders, the more possible it is to meet the mandate of
the Canada Health Act. Other chapters address economic, political,
legal, and ethical issues related to health care.

This stimulating and superbly edited book is highly recommended for
public libraries, health authorities, administrators, professionals,
consumers and postsecondary students.


“Do We Care?: Renewing Canada's Commitment to Health,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 17, 2024,