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Equity in Access to Primary Care: Reimagining a “Front Door” for Health Care in Canada

April 21, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


As the first and main point of access to services, primary care acts as a “front door” to health care systems in Canada. Inequities in access to primary care undermine access throughout health systems. Provinces have implemented varied primary care reforms, but equity in access was not typically a policy focus and equity impacts have not been widely studied. This seminar will present accumulating evidence that primary care reforms have entrenched rather than reduced inequities in access, and explore impacts of rapid transitions in primary care delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results point to a need to reimagine what a “front door” for health care in service of justice and community might look like.

Dr. Ruth Lavergne is a CGSHE Faculty Member and Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. She is a quantitative health services researcher with a focus on primary care and health human resources. Her research aims to inform policies that strengthen access to primary care system-wide while addressing disparities for populations poorly served within existing models of care. Dr. Lavergne collaborates as a quantitative co-PI on the CGSHE IRIS study and is PI of the Early Career Primary Care (ECPC) study. She is also PI of the PRioritiEs For Research (PREFER) project and works in partnership with the BC Primary Health Care Research Network Patient Advisory to identify patient priorities for primary care research in BC. Her new and ongoing projects respond directly to patient priorities and feature interdisciplinary teams that involve patients, providers, and policymakers at all stages of research. She is @ruthlavergne on Twitter.