PORT – Patient-Oriented Centers for Primary and Long-Term Care

Study Tour Canada

In April 2016 a group of 23 health care experts, including people from the PORT-Initiatives, the PORT-Jury, Health-Care-Researchers, Journalists and representatives of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, travelled to Canada. They were able to take a look at the concepts and implementation of some handpicked and inspiring health care models in rural and structurally weak regions of Ontario/Canada. The group received solution-oriented recommendations and ideas for the development of their own local community-health-centers in Germany.

Aim of and reason for the journey

In rural and structurally weak regions of Ontario/Canada, health care is just as an important topic as it is in Germany. The complex geography, difficult infrastructure, and rapid demographic changes are all challenging factors that need to be taken into consideration when planning appropriate health care structures.

Additionally, an increasing number of regional differences due to a concentration of social and health problems are not to be underestimated. What is required is a needs-based care system, which provides solutions unique to each particular region.  These solutions should include an appropriate reaction to the diverse and complex health care needs of the population and promote preventative measures that can be implemented in daily life as well as during all life stages.

Over the past few years the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care has initiated a number of health care models especially for the rural regions, giving a strong political signal. Local government is responsible for the health and social infrastructure in Canada, meaning that regionally distinct approaches have developed. Although these offer a great pool of innovative solutions, they also show the obstacles and challenges of a care system in rural regions with a challenging infrastructure.

The aim of the journey was to gain insights into concepts and implementation strategies of health care models in the rural and structurally weak regions of Ontario. By looking further afield it is hoped that the development of the system in Germany can be improved, because the challenges for both countries are similar and innovative approaches are needed to shape future health care.

The study tour focused on primary care models, inpatient care, and integrated community care. The tour was organized by drawing on experiences from two previous research journeys concerning primary and long-term care in Ontario/Canada made by Prof. Dr. Doris Schaeffer of the Institute of Nursing Science of the University of Bielefeld/Germany in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Michael Ewers of the Charité University – Berlin/Germany.
  • Literature: „Analyse internationaler Modelle regional differenzierter kommunaler Gesundheitsversorgung und –planung“ von Schaeffer D / Hämel K / Ewers M. funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung