Health For People in the 1980's A Work in Progress

Publisher:  Vanier Institute of the Family, Ottawa, Canada
Year Published:  1980
Pages:  38pp   Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX2083

On April 16, 1980 a Submission of the Vanier Institute of the Family for the Health Services Review 1979-1980 was made in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Submission reviews the traditional attitude of illness and disease as being separate from the social, emotional, economic, spiritual and political aspects of one's like. This attitude has fostered present day patient dependency and alienation. The document reviews how modern day industrial societies have caused family breakdown and instability. The Vanier Institute advocates that we place emphasis on a health-care policy that will cover the ecological well-being of every Canadian. Medicare set forth a fine policy in that each person has the right to medical attention. This is a necessary item "but not a sufficient condition for health".

The Submission states that we must go beyond and look at such elements as human biology, environment, lifestyle and health-care organizations. This wholistic approach to health would mean a changing of attitude within the doctor as well as the patient. To break away from the mechanistic disease-oriented model, a doctor now becomes a teacher to the patient, and provides information and stimulation to the patient in order that s/he heal herself/himself. Further, caring function of family members and neighbors is stressed as being important in the healing process. The training curricula at the various medical schools would be geared to teaching medical students to teach their patients how to look after and so heal themselves. Information sharing on techniques to reduce stress levels and to relax will be included in the functions of the professionals in the health care field.

Finally, the Vanier Institute calls for the establishment of community health resource centers which will be controlled by communities and serve the needs of those who make up the communities.

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