Despite high per capita health expenditures, there are still great health disparities between Northern and Southern Canada, as well as between Aboriginal and non-aboriginal in the North. Norhterners have identified community-based primary health care as a priority, however there is a lack of evidence to inform a relevant northern-focused transformation in primary health care. This evidence needs to be gathered in order to enact meaningful change. This is the pretext under which the Circumpolar Health Systems Innovation Team was created.
The Circumpolar Health Systems Innovation Team is international in scope, and builds on considerable prior collaboration. The primary collaborators include faculty from the University of Toronto, along with key Northern research centres – Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre (Nunavut), Institute for Circumpolar Health Research (Northwest Territories), Labrador Institute (Newfoundland and Labrador) – and collaborators in Greenland. The goal of this team is to conduct a comparative analysis and measure health systems performance of primary health care policy and practice, and capture the gaps and innovations in service delivery. This will be followed by the development of innovations in primary health care delivery in the North, as well as building capacity for northern-based health systems research.
The entire timeline will span five years, beginning in November 2013.