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Institutionalizing HIA in Québec: Section 54 of the Public Health Act Dr. Alain Poirier, National Public Health Director and Assistant Deputy Minister Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux Granada, April 14 -15, 2011
2 Origin of HIA in Québec International movement for the promotion of health (Ottawa Charter, 1986) Recognition of the impact of decisions made in other sectors on the health of the population and on the social inequalities of health Need to develop public policies that are conducive to health Issue of consistency in government decisions HIA: a tool of choice for taking health issues into account in the various spheres of government activity
Mutual Influences: Canadian Initiatives in HIA 1980: in Québec, the Regulation respecting environmental impact assessment and review came into effect, providing for the participation of the health sector in the consultation process 1993: first attempt to institutionalize HIA in British Columbia Since 1989: willingness to include HIA in environmental impact assessment in all provincial and federal jurisdictions 2001: effective integration of HIA within the Government of Québec with Section 54 of the Public Health Act HIA through environmental impact assessment Institutionalizing HIA at the central level Today, other provinces such as Alberta are considering the possibility of establishing a legal basis for HIA 3
Mutual Influences: diversity of Canadian initiatives in HIA Nova Scotia: the practice of community health impact assessment Ontario (city of Toronto): a model based on the contribution of public health experts Québec: a model based on intersectoral collaboration in the Montérégie region Stronger networking among the provinces The role of the National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy Three examples of local HIA initiatives Sharing experiences in Canada 4
5 Origin of HIA in Québec Review of the Public Health Act in 2001 Establishment of conditions conducive to carrying out the essential functions of public health Implementation of a dynamic link between the various actors at the central, regional and local levels Legal framework for acting upon public policy
6 Origin of HIA in Québec Public Health Act Section 54. The Minister is by virtue of his or her office the advisor of the Government on any public health issue. The Minister shall give the other ministers any advice he or she considers advisable for health promotion and the adoption of policies capable of fostering the enhancement of the health and welfare of the population. In the Minister's capacity as government advisor, the Minister shall be consulted in relation to the development of the measures provided for in an Act or regulation that could have significant impact on the health of the population.
7 Strategy for Application of Section 54 1.Implementation of an intragovernmental health impact assessment mechanism 2.Development and transfer of knowledge on public policies that are conducive to health
8 Strategy for Application of Section 54 Goals Enable ministries and public agencies to assess beforehand the potential impacts on health of the various measures put forth in the form of bills and regulations Promote mitigating measures and inform decision making Access to relevant expertise Tools to assist in decision making The ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) supports HIA through :
The decision-making process at the central level Strategy for Application of Section 54 M/A Secretary General Permanent ministerial committees Cabinet of Québec Briefs Analyses and recommendations Decisions M/A CT-MF Priorities Committee Legislative Committee 9
10 Strategy for Application of Section 54 Achievements of the MSSS Establishment of a network of ministerial representatives Distribution of a briefing document on determinants of health Distribution of a practical HIA guide Distribution of a liaison bulletin http://www.msss.gouv.qc.ca/article54
11 Strategy for Application of Section 54 Requests for Advice 2003-2011 : 434 requests for advice directed to the MSSS Most of the requests were from the ministère du Conseil exécutif (Cabinet) but there had been prior involvement by the MSSS in many of them, through agreements and interministerial committees : Government Action Plan to Combat Poverty and Social Exclusion Government Sustainable Development Strategy Government Action Plan to Promote Healthy Lifestyles and Prevent Weight-related Problems Latest information published by the MSSS in 2008
12 Strategy for Application of Section 54 Findings Greater awareness-building and participation by partners and an increasing integration of the process within ministries and public agencies Requests for projects other than bills and regulations However, many requests are sent in at the end of the process Some bills and draft regulations still do not include HIA
13 2.Development and Transfer of Knowledge Funded research Interdisciplinary research on public policies that are conducive to health Transfer of knowledge to appropriate decision makers and professionals Agreement between the MSSS and the Institut national de santé publique du Québec Evidence-based reports on public policy and health produced to support the Minister in his role of advisor to the other ministers Training and support for the development of HIA tools Public Policy and Health Portal and monitoring Strategy for Application of Section 54 of the PHA http://politiquespubliques.inspq.qc.ca/en/index.html
14 The importance of developing and transferring knowledge on public policies that are conducive to health Multiple innovations showing government commitment and investment by public health partners However, it will be essential to: Ensure that the knowledge needs of intersectoral partners are met Ensure that knowledge transfer is carried out at the right time Strike a balance between an expert-based approach and assistance in decision making Strategy for Application of Section 54 of the PHA
15 Challenges and Perspectives Support changes in practice for greater use of HIA Support partners in the economic and social spheres Ensure the quality of HIA in the government environment Develop effective means for knowledge transfer, especially to the decision makers and professionals concerned Develop strategic monitoring in order to act at the beginning of the decision-making process More generally, strengthen intersectoral actions at all levels of government Create horizontal and vertical synergies so as to remove certain obstacles and take advantage of all opportunities
16 For more information… http://www.msss.gouv.qc.ca/article54 http://politiquespubliques.inspq.qc.ca/en/index.html
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