In Canada, an estimated 564,000 Canadians are living with dementia (with 25,000 new cases each year). Dementia is a broad term referring to a number of brain disorders, most commonly, Alzheimer Disease, and is characterized by a gradual decline in memory and functioning. Dementia impacts the quality of life of people with the disorder, their families and broader society. For example, the combined health care and out‐ of‐pocket costs of dementia in Canada amounts to an estimated $10.4 billion per year (Alzheimer Society of Canada (ASC,2017).
Globally and nationally there is growing concern among policy makers, care providers and consumers alike about the impact of dementia both now and in the long term. In 2012 the World Health Organization (WHO) together with Alzheimer Disease International (ADI) released a document titled “Dementia: a public health priority” to promote dementia as a public health and social care priority worldwide. Twenty‐nine
countries and seven of Canada’s provinces currently have some form of dementia strategy or action plan which vary, yet identify dementia as a priority area. After a failed attempt in 2011, Canada has recently passed legislation for a National Dementia Strategy of its own and is in the process of developing and implementing this strategy.
On June 22, 2017, Bill C‐233 received Royal Assent and became an Act of Parliament now known as the National Strategy for Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias Act. As required by the Act, the Canadian Minister of Health must host a conference within 180 days of receiving royal assent and bring experts from all the provinces and territories (ASC,2017). For the purposes of this briefing note you will be writing as a consultant for the Change Foundation – an Ontario based independent health policy think‐tank that engages patients, caregivers and providers in developing and testing models of care to improve peoples experience in the health system. Your audience (the Change Foundation) will be attending the conference hosted by the Federal Health Minister and in preparation, have requested a briefing note to review the role a national body can play in affecting health policy along with a review of the federal and Ontario dementia strategies. You have been asked to select three national objectives/priorities that the Federal government should focus on. Furthermore, you have asked to consider how a national strategy might enhance (or align with) Ontario’s Dementia Strategy.
Your Briefing Note must include the following elements:
Purpose: In a sentence or two, succinctly state the purpose of your note. Remember to keep in mind what your audience will need to know to bring informed recommendations for national objectives to the national conference.
Background: Briefly outline the Federal and Provincial roles in health care. More specifically, given the constitutionally defined authority for the delivery of health care services at the provincial level (for most of the population) what tools do the Federal government have at their disposal to initiate national strategies (in general) in the health care system?
How did the National Dementia Strategy in Canada come to
be? In other words, what factors pushed a National Dementia Strategy onto the agenda? What priorities have the Federal government laid out for the National Dementia Strategy? Given many provinces have already identified strategic priorities in their own dementia strategies and action plans, how might a National Dementia Strategy strengthen their ability to address these priorities? More specifically, what priorities have been laid out in Ontario’s most recent dementia strategy?
Analysis: What three national objectives/priority areas would you suggest the Change Foundation recommend a National Dementia Strategy address and how might these complement/enhance the pending provincial strategy in Ontario?
Note: Be sure to describe what you are recommending as opposed to just
What are the pros and cons of the three priorities you are recommending? Are their winners and losers? Are there institutions in place (policies, practices, etc.) that would help or hinder the priorities that you are proposing? Be clear what the Federal and provincial roles would be for each of your recommendations.
Recommendation: Based on your background and analysis, which option do you recommend as having the highest or most pressing priority?
Instructions for Submission of Briefing Notes:
Word Count: 1200-1500 words not including appendices or references. Your paper should be submitted in doubled spaced format.
Reference Format: APA style. Your papers must be submitted by midnight on the the due date. Please see course outline for
information on penalties for late submissions and process for extension
For a review of Federal and Provincial roles in health care see:
More information on the National Dementia Strategy can be found at:
More information on the Ontario Dementia Strategy can be found at:
WHO and ADI Dementia: a public health priority http://www.who.int/mental_health/publications/dementia_report_2012/en/
The Rising Tide of Dementia in Canada https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4530360/
WHO Fact Sheet on Dementia http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs362/en/
To view all the readings of Bill C‐233:
Canada to Become 30th Country with a National Dementia Strategy:
Dementia in Canada: A National Strategy for Dementia Friendly Communities: https://sencanada.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/421/SOCI/Reports/SOCI_COM_ExecutiveSummary_dementia_2016-11-14_E_Final.pdf
In Their Own Voices: Guiding Principles and Strategies for Change Identified by and for Caregivers in Ontario:
These are only suggestions. Please look beyond these sources.