Blog Post

Lessons for the Development of Effective Health Systems from COVID-19 with Dr. Kwame McKenzie (webinar recording)

By: Marco Campana
November 6, 2021

In this September 16, 2021 event in the Longwood Breakfast Series Dr. Kwame McKenzie, CEO, Wellesley Institute uses examples from the pandemic to discuss how we can produce more effective and efficient health systems.


There were huge inequities in rates of Covid-19 infection, hospitalization and deaths for low income and racialized groups. Data from the vaccination roll-out show similar disparities in immunization rates, but, these figures do not tell the full story. They do not tell the story of the many promising approaches developed at the community, primary care and hospital interfaces that have pushed Canada to the forefront of international discussions about sustainable health system recovery.

Find additional useful information from the Ontario Hospital Association in this backgrounder - Research and Information on COVID-19: Social Determinants of Health:

"This section shares some key research findings and resources on the social determinants of health as it relates to COVID-19.

In Canada, it is widely recognized that the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age (i.e., the social determinants of health) account for the disproportionate health risks and health inequities across a population. While COVID-19 has affected the entire world, the health risks, burdens, experiences, and outcomes are not equal for everyone.

A wealth of historical literature points to respiratory infection disparities in vulnerable populations because of differential exposure to influenza virus, differential susceptibility to disease, and differential access to health care. Research out of Ontario found that during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, higher hospitalization rates were observed in people with lower education, of indigenous ethnicity, and who were living in deprived neighbourhoods (American Journal of Public Health)."

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