Health Policy in Canadian Nursing Practice



Health Policy in Canadian Nursing Practice

QUESTION

Health Policy in Canadian Nursing Practice

A Closer Look at Problem Definition

Search for, identify and then discuss a so-called “focusing event” that appears to have had an influence on mental health care policy. Use a Canadian example (better still a BC example) from a news story if you can find one; otherwise, you will need to search more widely.

Health Policy in Canadian Nursing Practice

ANSWER
Health Policy in Canadian Nursing Practice

Student’s Name
Institutional Affiliation
Course Code and Name
Professor’s Name
Date

Health Policy in Canadian Nursing Practice
Health policy changes in nursing practice sometimes need sudden, rare, and harmful events to influence the policy process. The focusing events usually reveal current shortcomings in many institutions and provide an opportunity for policy evaluation and putting priorities in order. Similarly, The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the mental health of the people of Canada because most found it challenging to adapt to measures placed by the government to stop the spread of the virus. These struggles were most pronounced in individuals that faced pre-existing challenges like discrimination and those that had mental health problems. The COVID-19 pandemic can thus influence mental healthcare policy in Canada.
The COVID-19 pandemic has harmed the mental health of people in Canada, but the most effective has been on those facing structural inequalities the hardest. The group included the poor, racially discriminated, indigenous people, and those with pre-existing mental health issues (Asmundson et al., 2020). Frontline workers also faced mental health concerns due to psychological stress. These factors increased the demand for mental health services which were already on-demand yet underfunded.
Social distancing, isolation, anxiety about infection, the uncertain financial status, and juggling work and life in the same setting proved to be the most common issues that triggered mental health concerns. In addition, some people lost their loved ones and could not grieve using the typical grieving rituals. Some residents of long-term facilities passed away due to depression after the frequent visits from loved ones suddenly stopped to protect them from future infections. In addition, frontline workers suffered anxiety, stress, and symptoms of stress due to trauma after exposure to extreme stress. These factors prompt mental checkups, yet the system is underfunded.
Insufficient funding for mental health was an issue that expedited the federal government to fund mental health in Canada because of the increase in demand during the pandemic (Asmundson et al., 2020). Prepanemic, the government had pledged a budget of 5 billion dollars over ten years to bridge the disparity. Children and adolescents were the most affected group, with a waiting list extending to almost two years to get the required service. During the pandemic, it allocated another 82.5 million dollars in new funding to deal with indigenous mental health issues. Increasing the national spending on mental health is recommended to a minimum of 12% of healthcare expenditure (CAMH, 2020). However, linking the burden to expenditure has not been exploited and would significantly improve the funding because more and more people develop mental health issues.
A move to virtual healthcare was also a way to reduce in-person visits to the clinic (Asmundson et al., 2020). Virtual healthcare not only addresses the concerns and issues of mental health but also crosses the jurisdictional boundaries placed y federal and national governments, ensuring healthcare providers address all mental health issues of any patient. In addition to the service offered, the best quality of service is the recommended standard at all times (CAMH, 2020). Several recommendations also suit specific policy changes to improve the mental health of all patients, like provision of a wide range of medical resources, support, and care, prioritizing workplace and mental health, and investing in social determinants of health.
The process by which a focusing event yields policy change requires rapt attention to the problems they reveal and evidence of lessons learned from the event for policymakers to enact the change. The concept of a focusing event is that a sudden rare event can change institutional policies for the long haul. Canada faced struggles in mental health management during the pandemic because policies did not favor the environment for growth. Future policy changes to include virtual visits, proper funding, and serving patients with the best quality service would ensure the patient lives a better life. 
References
Asmundson, G. J., Blackstock, C., Bourque, M. C., Brimacombe, G., Crawford, A., Deacon, S. H., McMullen, K., McGrath, P. J., Mushquash, C., Stewart, S. H., Stinson, J., Taylor, S., & Campbell-Yeo, M. (2020). Easing the disruption of COVID-19: Supporting the mental health of the people of Canada—October 2020—an RSC policy briefing. FACETS, 5(1), 1071-1098. https://doi.org/10.1139/facets-2020-0082
CAMH. (2020, July). Mental health in Canada: Covid-19 and beyond. CAMH policy advice. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health | CAMH. https://www.camh.ca/-/media/files/pdfs—public-policy-submissions/covid-and-mh-policy-paper-pdf.pdf

Health Policy in Canadian Nursing Practice


Scroll to Top