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Health Justice

Health Justice

We will strive to ensure that every person in Canada has the same access to healthcare, and opportunities for improved health 

  • WHAT IF you could access a specialist in your town, instead of having to drive to the next major city? 
  • WHAT IF you had reliable access to the Internet so you could find more health information, when you want it?
  • WHAT IF being Indigenous didn’t mean you were likely to die (on average) 8-9 years earlier than non-Indigenous people?1

The United Nations defines health justice as “the right to a system of health protection which provides equality of opportunity for people to enjoy the highest attainable level of health”, a definition that also encompasses other freedoms and entitlements.2

It is important to recognize that while the word ‘health’ is included, this definition goes well beyond equal access to a doctor or medical attention. Health justice includes the right to equal access to everything that is crucial to health and well-being. Housing, childcare, education and clean water are only four of the hundreds or even thousands of individual factors that make up this broad category.

Cultural and social inequalities are systemic in our society. If we look narrowly at access to primary healthcare, we know that there are large gaps within Canada’s universal healthcare system that leave the most vulnerable populations at a higher risk of disease and poor health outcomes. As one of many examples, Canada’s Indigenous community is twice as likely to die from avoidable causes than their non-Indigenous counterparts.1 

It’s not just about access to a doctor. Inequity places limits on the underserved to feel safe and prosperous in their communities. For example, LGBTQ2+ people in Canada are more likely to experience financial insecurity and may also be at an increased risk of losing access to safe and secure housing, according to the 2018 Survey of Safety in Public and Private Spaces (SSPPS).3 

In turn, Canada and the people who live here are left with a future less bright than it may be otherwise.

So our Soaring with Roche challenges can only be solved by asking the right questions and listening directly to the people who are experiencing inequity.

The Soaring with Roche open innovation program has set the mandate to help alleviate health injustices in Canada. We believe that everyone – no matter how you identify, where you are from and where you live – has the fundamental human right to the same opportunities for improved health and healthcare.

Soaring with Roche will be exploring pilots that serve to facilitate conversations, exposing the injustices felt by people living in Canada from coast-to-coast-to-coast, and explore solutions that will lead to a more just and accessible health system (for example, increasing representation in the health system itself). 

Stay connected through the newsletter to learn more about how you can be a part of the pilots as they are planned and launched.

1. Statistics Canada. Mortality among First Nations people, 2006 to 2016. Available at
2. UN Economic and Social Council Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health. General Comment No. 14. (E/C.12/2000/4), 2000
3. Vulnerabilities related to COVID-19 among LGBTQ2+ Canadians (
4. Source: What is the Population Health Approach? –

Stay Connected

Effective September 20, 2022, the Soaring with Roche program has been closed. 


At Roche, we believe collaboration is critical to tackling the healthcare challenges of today and tomorrow. But we acknowledge there are times when others may be better positioned to champion or lead the initiatives that we, too, believe in. We also recognize that we need to channel both our human and financial resources to where they will have the greatest impact.

We are grateful for the partnerships we’ve formed through the Soaring with Roche program as well as all we have learned. We carry those learnings forward to other projects and remain inspired by the community’s commitment to better healthcare and to a system that is ready for the innovation of the future. Roche Canada’s commitment to the future of healthcare does not waver – it is being redirected. 


Thank you for your interest. We are eager to continue our work together through other projects and opportunities.