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About Health Canada

Health Care Policy Directorate

The Health Care Policy Directorate plays a leadership role in health care for the purpose of improving access, quality and integration of health services to better meet the health needs of Canadians wherever they live or whatever their financial circumstances. The objective is pursued mindful of long term equity, sustainability and affordability considerations and in close collaboration with provinces and territories, health professionals, administrators, other key stakeholders and citizens. The directorate has four divisions


Health Care System Division

The Health Care System Division (HCSD) provides analytical and policy leadership on issues related to broader health system renewal such as fiscal transfers, governance and accountability, innovation and productivity in health care, and the roles and interface of the public and private sectors. It also coordinates and provides policy leadership in the Health Care Policy Directorate on horizontal issues such as monitoring the implementation of First Ministers' agreements, performance reporting and research. As well, the Division provides secretariat support to the federal/provincial/territorial Advisory Committee on Governance and Accountability. Finally, the Division develops strategic plans for Health Canada in health care, and coordinates departmental work on the health care issues.

Health Human Resources Policy Division

The Health Human Resources Policy Division (HHRPD) is Health Canada's focal point for health human resource (HHR) issues associated with physicians, nurses (in collaboration with the Office of Nursing Policy) and other regulated health professionals. Main activities of the Division include policy development and provision of advice related to identified HHR priorities, and program management for Health Human Resource Strategy initiatives, i.e. Health Human Resource Planning, Recruitment and Retention of health care providers, and Interprofessional Education for Collaborative Patient-Centred Practice. HHRSD also provides secretariat support to the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Advisory Committee on Health Delivery and Human Resources.

Chronic and Continuing Care Division

The Chronic and Continuing Care Division provides analytical and policy leadership in relation to primary health care, continuing care (including home care) and palliative/end of life care. As such it is responsible for monitoring the system in these areas, identifying policy issues and providing policy analysis and policy/strategic advice as to federal or FPT implications and action.

The Division provides secretariat support to the Canadian Strategy on Palliative and End-of-Life Care, contributes to the advancement of FPT policy priorities through a range of mechanisms, such as the FPT Advisory Committees reporting to the Conference of Deputy Ministers of Health, and serves as a focal point within Health Canada on primary health care, home and continuing care, and palliative/end-of-life care policy matters and a centre of expertise/knowledge in these areas. Division staff participate in national initiatives in policy development in collaboration with other governments and partners, as well as on departmental initiatives, for example, on priorities such as chronic disease management, e-health, mental health care and linkages with public health, as they relate to the Division's areas of expertise

In addition, the Division manages the $800 million Primary Health Care Transition Fund, a contribution program created by the Federal Government to support the FMM 2000. The Division is responsible for the design, implementation and ongoing management of the program, in collaboration with federal, provincial/territorial and non-government partners. It provides strategic advice to the Minister and departmental executives to ensure that Health Canada priorities and objectives are achieved through it's funding program, and to foster program accountability. The Division collaborates with departmental staff to ensure Fund activity is consistent with other departmental initiatives. Input from P/T jurisdictions on Fund design and P/T collaboration on Fund initiatives occurs through an F/P/T committee managed by the Division.

Quality Care, Technology and Pharmaceuticals Division

The Quality Care, Technology and Pharmaceuticals Division (QCTPD) is responsible for identifying and advising on key health care policy issues, trends and implications, and related federal investments, in the areas of access to diagnostic and treatment services; acute care; health technology assessment; access/wait times; patient safety; appropriate and affordable access for Canadians to the safe and effective drugs they need; and other pharmaceutical policy issues, such as International Pharmacy (Cross Border Drug Sales).

The Division works closely with provincial and territorial governments, and a range of experts and stakeholders, including national and international health care and professional organizations and consumer and special interest groups, as well as with other federal departments, to achieve progress on First Minister's agreements on health and to address other pressing issues of national concern and interest. The Division also represents the federal government as an observer on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation