Challenges in Public Health Governance: The Canadian Experience
by Claude M. Rocan
Challenges in Public Health Governance: The Canadian Experience is an examination of public health from a governance perspective.
Part 1 begins with an examination of the fragmented nature of public health in Canada, identifies some major fault lines that characterize the public health realm, and reviews briefly the notion of network governance.
Part 2 looks at specific public health theatres: crisis issues such as SARS and the H1N1 pandemic, and the ongoing work of the Canadian Heart Health Initiative. It also examines the Pan-Canadian Public Health Network as the key piece of network infrastructure at the national level. It seeks to demonstrate that current governance structures and mechanisms are inadequate to deal with the governance challenges facing public health, and that network governance, appropriately applied, is a means through which public health in Canada can better achieve its objectives.
Part 3 examines the nature of the relationships with the voluntary sector, and discovers that much of the potential of these organizations to contribute to public health is being lost. Global trends further underline the need for broader, more inclusive forms of governance.
Part 4 deals with the need to develop the tools for network governance to cope with issues related to governability, accountability, and legitimacy. The book ends with a proposal to establish a network governance regime in public health and identifies a series of practical steps that can be taken to achieve this objective.
Claude M. Rocan was born in St. Boniface, Manitoba, and earned a PhD in political science from York University. He held policy/advisory positions within the Government of Saskatchewan and the Government of Canada at the senior professional and executive levels. As Director General of the Centre for Health Promotion at the Public Health Agency of Canada, he had the opportunity to experience directly the complexities and challenges of governance in the public health sector. He was recently a Visiting Fellow with the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. He lives in Manotick, Ontario and is an independent public policy consultant, specializing in network governance.