In this reflective paper, I will explain my motivations behind taking the Major Themes in Health Policy in Canada course. In addition, I will discuss a major event in the history of Canadian health policy with reasons why I believe it is an important historical issue. I am taking the Major Themes in Health Policy in Canada course because I am very interested in learning about critical historical events that have shaped Canada’s current health care system. I believe that learning about the development of different health policies will give me a better appreciation for the processes and planning that go behind developing robust health policies. I am particularly interested in learning about historical events that have helped improve the lives of vulnerable populations.
I wish to dedicate my professional career to the development of policies that will improve the quality of life of marginalized and vulnerable populations. In order to do this, I believe it is important for me to understand how policies are developed, how history impacts the development of given policies and what has failed in the past. Learning about Canadian health policies will provide me with a better understanding of Canada’s health care system and events that have shaped it. A major event in the history of Canadian health policy that I believe has had a major impact to the quality of life of those involved is the deinstitutionalization movement- especially as it relates to individuals living with mental health problems.
This movement was fueled by numerous research findings highlighting the negative health impacts of living in institutions. A number of policies arose out of the deinstitutionalization movement which has provided individuals with mental health problems with the possibility of living well in the community. Given the complexities behind supporting individuals with mental health problems living in the community, a number of stakeholders are still working on addressing issues that have resulted from the deinstitutionalization movement. I believe this historical event has positively shaped Canadian’s health care system for a number of reasons. Firstly, this historical issue highlights the impact that different stakeholders (such as researchers and non-profit organizations) have on the development of health policies, and the importance of collaboration among them. Secondly, this is one of the first health care movements that began to use human right principles to fight for the rights of individuals with healthcare problems and disabilities. This is important as it has helped shape, and has reinforced the importance of other movements such as the person-centred care approach to care.
Lastly, the movement has provided vulnerable populations with a voice and with the opportunity to live a dignified life. Given that Canada’s health care system is meant to help maintain and improve the health of all Canadians, in my opinion, the reason why deinstitutionalization is a major historical issue is because for the first time in history vulnerable populations were provided with an opportunity to improve their well-being and were treated with the respect that they deserve. In essence, I am looking forward to the content of this course as it directly relates to my passion for improving the health care of vulnerable populations through the development robust health policies.