Health Canada, Ontario Region, has approximately 650 employees. The Region's dedicated workforce includes scientists, laboratory analysts, occupational health physicians, administrators, community health and primary care nurses, product safety inspectors, compliance and enforcement officers and inspectors, environmental health officers, and program consultants.
The department has a food laboratory, a pharmaceutical-testing laboratory and a drug analysis laboratory in Toronto (Scarborough), and nursing and community health stations in First Nations communities - some in rural or remote areas. In addition, there are Health Canada offices in Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, Guelph, Kingston, Sioux Lookout and Thunder Bay.
This document provides a glimpse of how Health Canada works for Ontarians through its regional programs and services.
The Regional Director General is the department's senior representative in Ontario and is responsible for the delivery, co-ordination and coherence of Health Canada programs that are delivered in Ontario. The RDG represents the interests of Health Canada on a number of inter-departmental initiatives and promotes positive relationships with other levels of government, health partners and the general public.
First Nations and Inuit Health (FNIH) - Ontario Region is responsible for ensuring primary care and public health services across 133 First Nations communities in Ontario. FNIH also manages the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Program for First Nations individuals registered to Ontario Bands. FNIH manages funding arrangements with First Nations communities for a diverse set of health promotion and disease prevention programs. It also provides direct health services, such as nursing and environmental health, to First Nations communities through nursing stations, health centres and health stations. To better organize operations and maintain effective relationships with First Nations, FNIH is structured according to four geographic zones: Moose Factory, Southern Ontario, Thunder Bay and Sioux Lookout.
FNIH has longstanding relationships with the Chiefs of Ontario (COO) as a coordinating body for health policy and advocacy for most First Nations in Ontario. FNIH reports to the Ontario Chiefs Committee on Health whose secretariat resides in COO and who receive technical advice and support from the Health Coordination Unit. FNIH also liaises directly with the four (4) First Nation Provincial and Territorial Organizations (PTOs) of Ontario, Independent First Nations and 18 Tribal Councils.
The Overview presentation provides more detail on FNIH's current set of programs, organizational structure and context and challenges. The 2008-09 FNIH Strategic Plan identifies clearly its top 10 priorities, short/medium/long term strategies and expected outcomes.
The Health Programs Directorate contributes to the departmental mandate of helping Canadians maintain and improve their health by focusing on three critical areas: health promotion; prevention and risk reduction which includes assessment, management, and communication.
The Directorate engages in extensive stakeholder and community outreach to promote healthy living and to provide Canadians with important information to make informed decisions about nutrition and their living, working and recreational environments. The Directorate creates greater linkages between Programs, and across the Health Portfolio, with the objective of improved services that respond to client needs.
The Programs work to ensure that environmental health risks are understood by the communities and the public; to support community initiatives aimed at reducing drug and tobacco use; to promote food safety and nutrition; and to assess the health and safety of public servants and visitors to Canada.
Health Programs Ontario Region is comprised of six (6) distinct Programs and functional areas:
The Laboratories Directorate in Ontario Region is comprised of three laboratories: the Drug Analysis Service; the Food Laboratory; and the Inspectorate Laboratory. All three are located in the Health Canada laboratory facility at 2301 Midland Avenue in Toronto. They conduct chemical and microbiological analyses in support of Health Canada's mandate with respect to food, pharmaceuticals, natural health products, and controlled substances. Each of the Ontario Region laboratories has been accredited by the Standards Council of Canada, in accordance with the requirements of the International Standards Organization for testing and calibration laboratories (ISO 17025).
The Compliance and Enforcement Directorate in Ontario Region supports Health Canada's mission to help Canadians maintain and improve their health by enforcing the laws and regulations related to the production, distribution, importation, sale and/or use of consumer products, tobacco, pest control products, drugs, biologics, medical devices and natural health products.
The Directorate conducts inspections and investigations to ensure products are safe, of good quality, and properly labelled and distributed, in order to better protect Canadians from potentially harmful products and consumables.
Compliance and Enforcement staff provide information regarding quality and safety standards to industry, stakeholders, and the public, to help people make informed decisions regarding the use of these products.
In Ontario Region the Compliance and Enforcement Directorate is comprised of six distinct programs:
The activities of Health Canada's Ontario Region are supported by competent and dedicated staff in the offices of Strategic Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs; Strategic Planning and Analysis; Communications, Marketing and Consultation; Human Resources; Information Management Services; Finance and Material Management; and, Capital Assets, Administration and Security. The Ontario Region strives for excellence in people management, ensuring a healthy workplace and an effective and sustainable workforce. All units work collaboratively with their counterparts in the National Capital Region and across all regions in Canada.
Although separate organizations, the following agencies are members of the federal health portfolio, reporting to the federal Minister of Health and working together and with Health Canada to improve and protect the health of Canadians.
The Public Health Agency of Canada was created in 2004 to deliver on the Government of Canada's commitment to protect the health and safety of Canadians. The agency is headed by the Chief Public Health Officer.
Focused on more effective efforts to prevent chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease, prevent injuries, and respond to public health emergencies and infectious disease outbreaks, the Public Health Agency of Canada works closely with provinces and territories to keep Canadians healthy and help reduce pressures on the health care system. The agency also works with government and non-government partners to support a range of population health grants and contributions programs aimed at improving the health of communities and individuals.
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research is the Government of Canada's major federal funding agency for health research. Its mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to catalyze its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian health care system. Composed of 13 "virtual" institutes of networks of researchers brought together to focus on important health problems, the organization provides leadership and support to more than 11,000 health researchers and trainees across Canada, including Ontario.
For more information about the Ontario Region contact us directly.