In April 2001, the Canadian government established the Romanow Commission to deliberate with citizens on the future of healthcare in Canada. However, the commission overlooked the serious issue of engaging marginalised groups such as Aboriginal people, and did not provide separate participatory spaces for such groups. While some Aboriginal people participated in the dialogues, the outcomes did not fully reflect Aboriginal health issues.
This case study was written by Sandy Heierbacher, Director of the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD), in 2001 as part of a consultancy with the Center for Disease Control's National Immunization Program.
In the late 1990s several policy issues concerning the Canadian public health care system became the subject of public debate in Canada. These included the rising costs of the system, including cost per capita; which level of government should bear rising costs; whether and what forms of privatization should be introduced; delays in receiving treatment; the quality of treatment; differences in access to treatments in different provinces (so-called "uneven coverage"); and the extent to which health care service delivery was disaggregated.