Chapter

Universal Medical Care and Health Inequalities: Right Objectives, Insufficient Tools

Noralou P. Roos, Marni Brownell and Verena Menec

in Healthier Societies

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195179200
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199864539 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195179200.003.0006
Universal Medical Care and Health Inequalities: Right Objectives, Insufficient Tools

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This chapter aims to answer the question: What role does medical care play in determining population health? The Canadian health care system, with its universal medical care coverage, provides an important opportunity for assessing the impact of medical care on health. This chapter presents the findings of research examining this question in the province of Manitoba in a study that spans ten years, and reviews existing evidence on the relation between socioeconomic disparities, health care use, and health. It concludes that while a universal health care system is definitely the right policy tool for delivering care to those in need, investments in health care should not be confused with policies whose primary intent is to improve population health or reduce inequalities in health.

Keywords: population health; Canada; Manitoba; universal medical care; health care use; health inequalities

Chapter.  11394 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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