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The Partnership for Health System Sustainability and Resilience Canada Report 

What we heard from health system leaders, policy makers and health care organizations, associations and not-for-profits at our report launch.

On November 15, the Partnership for Health System Sustainability and Resilience (PHSSR) launched its Canadian report developed by Sara Allin, Associate Professor, The Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto.  

The research examined Canada’s health systems across seven key domains including, financing, governance, workforce, medicines and technology, service delivery, population health, and environmental sustainability, with 29 actionable policy recommendations to create future-ready health systems.

English Report
French Report

The panel discussion at the launch event – attended by more than 250 individuals including, health system leaders, researchers, clinicians, policy makers and government officials, patient advocacy organizations, professional organizations and industry – underscored the concerted effort and collaboration required by Canada’s health leaders to improve our health care systems. As a first step, we urge those in decision-making positions to consider the report’s key themes and recommendations. It is these core issues that will guide us into 2023 and beyond as we look to strengthen collaboration to ensure sustainability and resilience in our health systems.

Are you interested in moving the needle on the major policy areas discussed at the event? We'd love to collaborate with you.
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What we heard from panelists  

The event featured a panel discussion moderated by André Picard, and panelists:  

  • Sara Allin, Associate Professor, The Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto and Lead Researcher, Partnership for Health Sustainability and Resilience 

  • Adalsteinn Brown, Dean, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto and former Co-Chair of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table  

  • Katharine Smart, Pediatrician, Medical Leader, Passionate Advocate   

  • Stephen Samis, former Deputy Minister, Health and Social Services, Government of Yukon and President, Samis Health Policy Consulting Inc.  

  • Amélie Quesnel-Vallée, Canada Research Chair in Policies and Health Inequalities and Professor, Sociology & Epidemiology, McGill University  

  • Marcel Saulnier, former Associate ADM Health Canada and current Associate, Santis Health 

Panelists engaged in a constructive debate and discussion around key report findings and actionable policy recommendations: 

  • Reforming primary care is key to a resilient and sustainable health system.  

  • A pan-Canadian data strategy must include health and social data to inform evidence-based decision-making.   

  • The need for health care workforce planning, including training, recruitment and retention, has never been greater.  

  • An equitable health system is one that engages its citizens and starts by understanding the circumstances and needs of who it serves.  

  • Embedding the fundamental value of accountability in the way health care services are delivered to Canadians from coast to coast to coast.  

  • Canada’s health system leaders and policy makers need to move beyond reacting to the tyranny of the urgent and start the much-needed proactive work of health system transformation to predict and respond to future crises. 

We asked attendees what a sustainable, resilient, Canadian health system may look like. Here’s what we heard through our live audience polling:
  • Cooperation of both public and private systems to improve health system metrics. 

  • Interdisciplinary primary care systems with primary care teams in-community and health care professionals working within the full authority of their scope-of-practice.  

  • Emphasis and investments in health promotion and protection.  

  • The need for a proactive health system instead of a reactive one 

  • Value-based healthcare systems that are able to measure and evaluate patient outcomes.  

  • Accountable and patient centered.  

We asked attendees if a pan-Canadian health data strategy will improve governance, policy and decision making. Here’s what we heard:
  • The need for a learning health system that includes the system's capacity to take the data, understand it and translate it to inform change and decision-making.  

  • Measuring value not just volume. What we measure reflects our priorities and incentives. 

  • Recognizing that citizens' data belongs to them and must follow them wherever they receive care and services. 

  • We can’t change what we can’t measure.  

We asked attendees from their perspective and work in health care, what would it take to allow health care providers to practice to their full scope. Here’s what we heard:  
  • Less administrative burden, more health care professional education to enhance the patient experience. 

  • Leverage 11,000 pharmacies as primary care hubs.  

  • Replace MD-led hierarchical system with a team-based care system. Ensure the definition of full scope of practice for clinicians is the same in every Canadian jurisdiction.  

  • Break down the traditional hierarchy of health care to create care teams built on respect, accountability, and collaboration.  

As we look to 2023 and the need for concerted action and collaboration to shape future-ready health systems, we asked attendees what topics they would be most interested in. Here’s what we heard: 

What we hope you take away from your engagement  

In the words of the PHSSR Canada Report’s lead researcher, Prof. Sara Allin –

“The hope with this project is that the practical and action-oriented recommendations will be seriously considered by governments and health sector stakeholders. Their implementation will require a concerted effort by all involved.”  

That is exactly what we hope to work towards in 2023. Bringing health system leaders, governments, policy makers, researchers, health care professionals, organizations, associations, industry, and not-for-profits together to turn the 29 report recommendations into policy action.  

And we invite you to be a part of it. Are you interested in moving the needle on the major policy areas discussed at the event? We'd love to collaborate with you. 

Connect with us
About PHSSR 

This research project has been made possible by the Partnership for Health System Sustainability and Resilience (PHSSR) – a global collaboration between academic, non-governmental, life sciences, healthcare and business organizations. Now active in more than 20 countries, the PHSSR and its partners seek to work with local academics, governments, policymakers, patient and professional associations to build knowledge and guide action through research reports that offer evidence-informed policy recommendations to improve healthcare system sustainability and resilience. 
Our PHSSR partners in Canada include:
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