Health Accord NL Task Force

Health Accord NL focused on meaningful conversations with residents of Newfoundland and Labrador

St. John’s, NL – The recently established Task Force on Health, called Health Accord NL, has begun its work to reimagine health and health care in Newfoundland and Labrador. Today, Health Accord NL announces the first round of public sessions to talk to residents about their hopes and ideas for health in the province.

Health Accord NL, led by Co-Chairs Dr. Patrick Parfrey and Sister Elizabeth Davis, will focus on two major ideas in its quest for a strategy for better health in the province:

  • awareness of and intervention in the social factors that influence health (social determinants of health)
  • balance of community-based (primary health care, elder care, social care) and hospital-based services.

Open engagement with various groups throughout the province is extremely important. The general public and community sector, Indigenous communities, seniors, municipalities, unions, regional health authorities, health care professionals – these groups and more all have a vested interest in health and health outcomes. Their input and engagement will be critical throughout this process.

“Everyone is a stakeholder in how healthy we are as a province, so we are placing a very high value on open communication and meaningful engagement throughout this process,” says Sister Elizabeth Davis, Health Accord NL Co-Chair. “We want to have conversations with residents and listen to your opinions, hopes and ideas about how our province can become a healthier place.”

It is no secret that Newfoundland and Labrador is less healthy than other provinces. People here have shorter lives, the highest death rates from cancer, cardiac disease and stroke, and the highest rate of chronic disease in seniors in Canada. Social factors, rather than the health care system, are likely to have a higher impact on these unfortunate outcomes. Since 1981, social spending has increased by 6%, while health spending in the province has increased by 232%.

“The facts are alarming,” says Dr. Parfrey, Health Accord NL Co-Chair. “This Health Accord will clearly define an implementation plan with short, medium, and long-term goals for health, which should result in better health overall for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.”

The public is invited to join the Co-Chairs, Dr. Patrick Parfrey and Sister Elizabeth Davis, in the first of several town halls to discuss health in the province.

These sessions are free and open to everyone in Newfoundland and Labrador. Please visit to register.

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