minister of health

Why or why not – use the principles of critical scientific reasoning – to write a two page (maximum) briefing note to the Minister of Health explaining why or why not current Health Canada regulations of homeopathic medicines should be changed, and if so, in what way.


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Things to think about. Who is the Minister of Health at the federal level? Who are you writing this for? Know your audience.

Who has responsibility for health, regulation of health, regulation of “natural” products etc. across Canada? The readings help an understanding of what is possible in terms of recommendations. Think about all the nuanced aspects of policy, including the science aspect, but all the other things a minister or policy-maker has to consider in terms of your recommendations re: regulation.

What are the things you might need to consider in a briefing note to a minister? (This is not a complete list – there are lots of things to consider). Does our current Minister of Health have a background in science? How will you advise the Minister in terms of the shared responsibility for health within Canada between the federal level and the provinces? Does regulation help or hurt behaviours, people, health, business etc. Briefing notes need to be very concise, to the point, use plain language but be accurate and put forward an informed expert opinion with evidence. There must be a recommendation to the minister (usually between 1 and 3) and then the supporting evidence. Again, think like a lawyer arguing a case (for or against). Briefing notes might have a few references – sometimes none, sometimes up to perhaps 5. Rarely more than that. There is no set standard template or format for a briefing note but there are typical formats that are more often used. The format might change depending on the type of information or the subject matter.

In terms of how to write a briefing note, take a look at the website Evidence for Democracy (tons of really useful information on lots of topics here)

And then here

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