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Can J Public Health ; 112(2): 186-190, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1229505


Inspired by Fiset-Laniel et al.'s (2020) article entitled "Public health investments: neglect or wilful omission? Historical trends in Quebec and implications for Canada", we assessed public health investments since the establishment of the Nova Scotia provincial health authority in 2015. We analyzed Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness budgets from 2015-2016 to 2019-2020 and observed that less than 1% of funding was budgeted for public health annually, an amount well below the recommendation that 5-6% of healthcare funding be spent on public health. Healthcare spending has increased annually since 2015-2016, but proportions of funding to different programs and services have remained static. Specifically, we did not observe a change in investment in public health over time, suggesting that while the government does not necessarily spend too much or too little on healthcare, it spends far too little on public health. This chronic under-funding is problematic given the high rates of non-communicable diseases in Nova Scotia and health inequities experienced within the population. The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of public health work, and the need for a pandemic recovery plan that prioritizes investment in all areas of public health in Nova Scotia.

Budgets/trends , Financing, Government/economics , Public Health/economics , COVID-19 , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Noncommunicable Diseases/epidemiology , Nova Scotia/epidemiology
Can J Public Health ; 111(3): 383-388, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1000690


This commentary explores public health (PH) investments in Quebec and underlines the challenge of tracking PH resources across Canada. We analyzed governmental data to compare investments across all health and social programs in Quebec from 2004-2005 to 2017-2018. The province's PH budgets suffered from disproportionately low investments and abrupt cuts. These cuts were the largest among all health programs in 2015-2016 (- 7.1%). PH budgets did not keep up with inflation and, in constant dollars, have declined over the last decade. Furthermore, their evolution over the span of 14 years significantly differed from other health programs. On average, programs providing direct services experienced overall budget increases of 81%, whereas PH budgets had the lowest increase of all such programs at only 46%. PH suffers from serious erosion of its capacity. Unfortunately, there is a dire lack of comparable data for provincial, national, and international PH budgets, which further complicates the monitoring of PH erosion. We contend that systematic tracking of PH budgets remains profoundly inadequate across Canada. We recommend (1) regular, comprehensive, and publicly reported analyses of PH budgets; (2) in-depth comparisons of PH investments across Canadian jurisdictions; and (3) a strong PH systems and services research agenda for Canada.

Budgets/history , Budgets/trends , Public Health/economics , Canada , Government , History, 21st Century , Humans , Quebec
Malar J ; 19(1): 411, 2020 Nov 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-927504


The global COVID-19 pandemic has been affecting the maintenance of various disease control programmes, including malaria. In some malaria-endemic countries, funding and personnel reallocations were executed from malaria control programmes to support COVID-19 response efforts, resulting mainly in interruptions of disease control activities and reduced capabilities of health system. While it is principal to drive national budget rearrangements during the pandemic, the long-standing malaria control programmes should not be left behind in order to sustain the achievements from the previous years. With different levels of intensity, many countries have been struggling to improve the health system resilience and to mitigate the unavoidable stagnation of malaria control programmes. Current opinion emphasized the impacts of budget reprioritization on malaria-related resources during COVID-19 pandemic in malaria endemic countries in Africa and Southeast Asia, and feasible attempts that can be taken to lessen these impacts.

Budgets/trends , Coronavirus Infections/economics , Endemic Diseases/economics , Health Resources/economics , Malaria/economics , Pandemics/economics , Pneumonia, Viral/economics , Africa , Asia, Southeastern , Budgets/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Endemic Diseases/prevention & control , Health Resources/trends , Humans , Malaria/prevention & control , Mosquito Control/economics , Mosquito Control/trends , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control