Initiative for Sustainable Health Care hopes to kindle conversation

UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences is starting Initiative for Sustainable Health Care, a professorship that focuses on how our current health care system can be made more accessible and economically sustainable.

Mark Harrison, epidemiologist and assistant professor at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, hopes to educate the public on how to deal with the ever-evolving health care system through research.

“I’m looking at the efficiency in which we provide health care, treatments and the best benefits of the health care system,” said Harrison. “I tend to focus on health outcomes. We’re paying more and more for our health care and it’s stretching our ability to pay so we’re moving away from a situation where it’s affordable.”

The new initiative will work alongside the Sustainable Health Care Advisory Council, as well as several of the top industry partners and members in pharmaceuticals across Canada, such as Pfizer Canada, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada, AstraZeneca Canada and more.

UBC’s 'Start An Evolution' campaign encourages support and alumni fundraising for the many campus-wide faculty projects -- one of which includes the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences’ Initiative for Sustainable Health Care.

“I think UBC is in line with us being a research-focused organization and also trying to take that research into the future curriculum, so it hits those joint goals,” said Harrison. “Both UBC and B.C. have the opportunity to [be a voice for] future Canada and the rest of the world, as we’re being quite proactive with this initiative and looking to ... research these problems.”

Aside from working towards delivering more successful and cost-effective health care treatments, the professorship will also focus on finding gaps where the health care system fails to provide for the increasing demand of routine care.

“It’s a snapshot of how my background is related to and why I’m interested in these issues, and how we might start to approach them in the future,” said Harrison.

Harrison hopes that initiative will help generate discussion about rising health care costs for Canadians as well as a possible change in perspective on what the industry, government and academia can do together to adapt to the issues faced by all health care systems.