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Primary Care Reform and Community Based Health Care Symposium

This two day symposium provided a unique forum to examine the challenges that China and Canada have experienced around community based health and social care and how innovations and best practices in each country can be transferred to the other to promote health equity and system sustainability.




Capital Medical University


Presented By

  • Canadian Research Network for Care in the Community
  • Capital Medical University
  • Centre for International Health
  • Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at University of Toronto
  • Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University



Beijing, China



March 28-29, 2009


Symposium Overview

"Health is a universal human aspiration and a basic human need. The development of society, rich or poor, can be judged by the quality of its population's health, how fairly health is distributed across the social spectrum, and the degree of protection provided from disadvantage as a result of ill-health. Health equity is central to this premise..."(WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) Interim Statement)

However, health systems in China and Canada face tremendous challenges, particularly in a period of global economic downturn, related both to demand-side factors (e.g.- rising public expectations and aging populations) and supply-side factors (e.g.- increasing reliance on new and often more costly drugs, technologies and treatments).

In this connection, a growing and credible body of evidence suggests that a greater reliance on community-based primary health care (including but not limited to medical care) and social care (supports for everyday activities of daily living) can play a crucial role in maintaining the health and well-being of vulnerable populations such as frail seniors, people with disabilities, and marginalized groups (including those with HIV/AIDs), while also reducing utilization of costly and often inappropriate hospital and institutional care.

This symposium, therefore, took the unique opportunity to focus on:

  1. Leveraging Community-Based Health and Social Services
  2. Building a China-Canada Collaborative Research Agenda on Health Equity and System Sustainability