World Journal of Surgery

, Volume 37, Issue 9, pp 2086-2093

First online:

Trauma in Canada: A Spirit of Equity & Collaboration

  • Tanya ZakrisonAffiliated withDeWitt Daughtry Department of Surgery, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami Email author 
  • , Chad G. BallAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Foothills Medical Centre
  • , Andrew W. KirkpatrickAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Foothills Medical Centre

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The delivery of equitable trauma care in Canada is not without challenges within our universal health care system. Notably, the tyranny of geography is intermittently at odds with adequate access for our rural, indigenous, and impoverished populations. Other differences exist when compared with neighbouring trauma systems, for example in the United States.


As a critical review, we chose to compare and critique the overall system of trauma organization and perceived societal expectations of a high-income, North American country (Canada) to assist with discussions on trauma systems for the future.


Tele-technology is providing some early solutions. Trauma systems and delivery of care in Canada differ from the United States due to our single-payer system, regionalization and universal provision. Care for injured Canadians has a long history of being multidisciplinary, with collaborative research programs. Canada also has a history of global surgical endeavours, beginning with Dr. Norman Bethune and his recognition of the political causes of trauma and continuing as a global public health concern for all.


While challenges continue to exist for the provision of equitable trauma care in Canada, unique multidisciplinary, collaborative and technology-based solutions continue to be developed, both locally and globally, to address this critical public health issue.