Location in Health Care: Sites, Roles, Rights and Responsibilities


This position paper discusses the creation of a cross-cutting theme "Location and Health Care: Sites, Roles, Rights and Responsibilities" to be included in the development of the new Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Our funded grant was entitled "Evaluation and Planning of Home Care in Canada’s Health System - Institute Design". Through a process of consultation and reflection, the focus has changed to a much broader cross-cutting theme. Indeed, breadth of research is one of the defining characteristics of this theme.

The proposed cross-cutting theme focuses on implications of where and how health care is delivered and received. This research is not new, although recent changes in society have elevated the importance of this line of inquiry. The need to take a comprehensive look at the various impacts of location on the Canadian health care system and on the health of Canadians is paramount.

Changes in care settings pertain to a broad array of health care services spanning health promotion and maintaining functional status, treatment for chronic and acute conditions, various rehabilitation services and palliative care. These changes have profound implications for how medicine and other health disciplines are trained and provide clinical services. These changes impact the organization, delivery and financing of health care as well as the roles and responsibilities of care recipients and their families/friends, employers, schools and society in general.

Cross-cutting themes will be an integral component of the CIHR because they foster crossdiscipline collaboration and provide opportunities to research areas with an expanded scope of inquiry. Further, they provide a mechanism by which various institutes can work together on issues that require a comprehensive perspective.

It is essential that the CIHR include a cross-cutting theme that affords researchers the opportunity to identify and study the multiple challenges associated with where different types of heath care will be delivered and received in the next century. To do so will ensure Canadian health researchers remain at the forefront of knowledge generation and that the Canadian health care system will retain its internationally recognized stature.