Managing Risk at Times of Pandemic: Whose Responsibility?
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The Canadian healthcare system has become increasingly decentralised as a result of neoliberal policy leanings. Many responsibilities have shifted from federal to provincial to regional health authorities. As a result of their heavy workloads and strained budgets, these regional health authorities have begun striking up new community partnerships. This thesis examines the role that lay institutions play within the Canadian healthcare system via a case study of Dalhousie University’s handling of the 2009/2010 H1N1 pandemic. Document analysis and participant interviews reveal how the institution worked to protect the health of its population, why it was inclined to take on this responsibility, and how doing so impacted the everyday work of Dalhousie University employees. Based on this case study, the thesis argues that the capacity of lay institutions and their employees to respond to health crises is likely to depend on a number of factors, which has important public health implications.
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