First "Patient Led, Patient Governed" organization in Canada officially launches to improve health care for everyone

TORONTO, February 7, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - On February 15 The Patients' Association of Canada (PAC) will launch as the only organization of its kind to promote the patient voice in Canada. Founder Sholom Glouberman, a longtime health care advisor, began the association after his own eye-opening experience as a patient.

In an interview in Maclean's (Feb 7 issue), Glouberman explains that the current health care system is based on 19th Century breakthroughs in the treatment of acute diseases which did not need or allow patient input. The success of the acute model meant that throughout the 20th Century fewer people died of diseases like cholera, small pox or pneumonia. Today, most die of slowly evolving chronic diseases like heart disease or diabetes and for their treatment, patients play a critical role. Yet the system continues to find it difficult to involve patients.

We now recognize that the patient voice must become part of decision-making throughout the system—in clinical care, service design and policy making. The Patients' Association of Canada launches February 15 in Toronto with a full-day conference on "Improving the Patient Experience." PAC membership information at

The genesis of The Patients' Association of Canada, Glouberman's account of his experience as a patient, his comments on that experience and his full medical record are outlined in his new book My Operation: A Health Insider Becomes a Patient (Feb 1, 2011; Health & Everything Publications).