We support the World Health Organization’s definition of primary health care.
We will advocate for a Pan-Canadian community health centre (CHC) model to promote CHCs across Canada which:
- are non-profit or government-sponsored organisations;
- are governed by boards of directors or advisory boards, the members of which are mostly either clients of the CHC or local residents;
- involve clients and/or members in establishing the CHC’s mission, philosophy and programs;
- serve an identifiable local population;
- provide a range of primary health, social, recreational, and non-institutional services with an emphasis on prevention, health promotion, health education and community development;
- work in partnership with organizations in other sectors, such as education, justice, recreation, and economic development, to promote the health of the local community.
We believe health services in Canada, including primary health care, should be provided in keeping with the principles of universality, accessibility, comprehensiveness, portability, and public administration, as described in the Canada Health Act.
We believe that community residents, in partnership with providers and funders of health services, must be involved in identifying the needs of their community and in designing and overseeing service delivery, and evaluating health services programs.
We believe that economic, social and environmental factors such as adequate incomes, strong social support systems, safe physical environments, adequate housing and healthy eco-systems can have a profound effect on people’s health. We are prepared to take political and social action to enhance the positive effect of these determinants on people’s health.
We believe citizens have a responsibility and a right to maintain, enhance and control their health. The role of health care providers is to help citizens exercise this responsibility and right.
We believe citizens should have equal opportunity to achieve well-being and to have their health needs met regardless of their economic, racial, cultural, age, geographic, gender or sexual status. We will work to remove inequities in opportunity or access to health services.
We believe Canadian citizens are best served by the development and maintenance of a single-tiered health system.
We believe there must be a strong emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention in health service provision. We will advocate to ensure that these dimensions are an integral part of health service needs assessment, design and delivery.