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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


BOLDO, Elena; ST-PIERRE, Louise; MENDELL, Anika  and  BENOIT, François. The institutionalization of health impact assessment in Quebec: a feasible model in Spain?. Gac Sanit [online]. 2011, vol.25, n.6, pp.535-541. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objectives: In Canada, the province of Quebec has institutionalized Health Impact Assessment (HIA) by including it in its Public Health Act (PHA). In Spain, the Ministry of Health, Social Policy and Equality is in the process of reforming its PHA, and plans to include HIA in this legislation. This study reviews the factors that have led to the effective implementation of HIA in Quebec and discusses the possible applications of the Quebec model in the Spanish context. Methods: Information was gathered through interviews conducted in various public health institutions in Quebec. The Quebec model was compared to the Spanish situation, to identify potential needs associated with the practice of HIA in Spain. Results: In Quebec, public health institutions have developed a strategy for effective implementation of HIA. This strategy is based on several measures: creation of a network of ministerial representatives, development of an internal procedure at the Ministry of Health and Social Services to respond to requests, preparation of methodological guidelines, establishment of a research program, strengthening of knowledge transfer mechanisms, and establishment of communication and participation tools. Conclusions: HIA legislation does not guarantee its successful implementation. The institutionalization of HIA requires establishing a well-designed structure, as well as the allocation of adequate resources. The Quebec experience offers one model of HIA implementation that could be adapted to our country, taking into account elements of Spanish idiosyncrasies.

Keywords : Health impact assessment; Public policy; Public health act; Health in all policies.

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