RhPAP U is a new online resource for information on rural health in Alberta created by the Rural Health Professions Action Plan.
Policies are important frameworks that establish government priorities and determine how resources will be allocated. It is important to understand how policies can affect our health, so we are able to effectively support or challenge government policies, in other words, advocate for our health.
The “Rural Health Policy” pillar covers two topics: 1) a vision for rural health; and 2) advocacy.
The vision for rural health topic introduces some of the key health policies in Canada, such as the Canada Health Act, or Jordan’s Principle for Indigenous children. You can also learn about new ideas, such as the “health in all policies” concept promoted by the World Health Organization. This concept proposes to examine all policies, not just health policies, for their intended and unintended effects on people’s health. Not just health policies affect our health; housing, education, transportation, and employment policies can also have significant implications for health.
This section also introduces the “Rural Road Map,” a Canadian-made strategy to improve health-care access for people living in rural areas. Better access might be achieved, for example, by preparing more physicians to work in rural areas, or by changing the way health professionals practice in rural communities.
The advocacy section contains many useful resources to support people to become more engaged and effective advocates for their communities’ health-care needs. Alberta has several forums that allow citizens to participate in health-care discussions, provide feedback on health care, and shape policy direction.
Examples of these forums include Health Advisory Councils, Patient & Family Advisory Groups, and the Patient Voice. Each forum offers different engagement opportunities such as monthly surveys, group memberships, story sharing platforms, as well as online meetings.
Further resources include Healthcare 101 that offers help for anyone trying to navigate Alberta’s rather complex health-care system. You can also find tips on how to engage with government officials.
We encourage you to explore RhPAP U and to send us your feedback!