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Medical / Health Policy > Health for All

A Canadian Author Canadian Read

Health for All: A Doctor's Prescription for a Healthier Canada

By Jane Philpott

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Publish Date

April 09, 2024


Medical / Health Care Delivery
Political Science / World / Canadian


An Instant #1 National Bestseller • From one of Canada's most respected and high-profile health professionals (and former federal Minister of Health), a timely, practical, ambitious, and deeply personal call for action on health that sets out the roadmap to our future well-being.

Jane Philpott has spent her life learning what makes people sick and what keeps people well. She has witnessed miracles in modern medicine. She has also watched children die of starvation in a world that has plenty of food. With Health for All, she sounds a clarion call for a radical disruption in a health care system that is broken—but not beyond repair. The vision is rooted in a deep-seated commitment to health equity.

Decades ago, a few visionary Canadian leaders put laws in place to ensure health care insurance for all. But the structures to deliver that care were never fully developed as envisioned. As a result, our health systems are not comprehensive or well-coordinated. In the wake of a pandemic, we risk it all falling apart. More than six million people have no family doctor, nor any other access to primary care. Emergency rooms are routinely closed. Exhausted health workers wonder if it will ever get better. Some say we should hand health care over to the private sector. But to abandon our commitment to publicly funded health care now would only lead to more expensive and less equitable care. Philpott outlines a different solution—an ambitious, once-in-a-generation reset of health systems with universal access to primary care teams.

What sets this book apart is that it’s more than a prescription for better medical care. Philpott looks at the big picture of health for all. This includes an intimate look at the personal roots of well-being: hope, belonging, meaning, and purpose. Then, through real-life stories, she examines the impact of the social determinants of health. Finally, she explains that none of this will happen without the political will to do the hard work of rebuilding a healthy society. The remedy we await is serious leadership to implement what we already know and to put the well-being of Canadians at the top of the agenda.
JANE PHILPOTT is best known for her time in the Canadian government from 2015 to 2019 where she served as federal Minister of Health, Minister of Indigenous Services, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government. She is now the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Director of the School of Medicine at Queen's University, and CEO of the Southeastern Ontario Academic Medical Organization. She is a medical doctor and a Professor of Family Medicine. Prior to politics, Jane spent the first decade of her medical career in Niger, West Africa. She worked as a family doctor in Markham and Stouffville for 17 years where she became Chief of Family Medicine at Markham Stouffville Hospital. She is married to CBC Radio journalist Pep Philpott. They have four adult children and two grandchildren.

ISBN: 9780771011726
Format: Hardback
Pages: 296
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Published: April 09, 2024

“Health for Indigenous communities—the foundational contributors to what has become the Canadian health care system—is more than caring for the body but centres the mind, heart, and spirit too. As Indigenous peoples have always known, health is a collective process necessary for an entire community, not just any one individual. Jane Philpott understands this, and gets how health operates best in this place, with Health For All acting as her brilliant and innovative call and map on how to revitalize Canada’s most important and oldest institutions.”

—Niigaan Sinclair, author of the forthcoming Wînipêk: Visions of Canada from an Indigenous Centre and columnist at the Winnipeg Free Press

“There are two questions I keep asking about public figures: Can they think for themselves, and are they trying to help? With Jane Philpott the answer to both is a resounding Yes. This brave book is part memoir, part manifesto: Philpott proposes a major health-care reform, then tells us about the life’s work that brought her here. We need more serious conversations about real things in this country. Which is why we need Jane Philpott.”

—Paul Wells, journalist and author

“Jane Philpott humanely advocates for access to primary care for all. Through a vivid storytelling, anchored in her unshakable faith, deep sense of meaning and purpose, she brings us hope. A must read for all future and current healthcare workers dreaming about a healthcare system doing more for each Canadian.”

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