International Affairs Directorate
The International Affairs Directorate initiates, coordinates and monitors departmental policies, strategies and activities in the international field. It provides advice on the department's strategic approach to international affairs, ensures the department's international activities are internally coherent and consistent with government-wide policies and recommends departmental representation at international meetings.
It also represents the department in international organizations, promotes the department's corporate interests abroad and ensures that Canadian health policy and priorities are reflected in the department's international activities. The directorate administers exchange agreements with other countries, manages the international components of the Tobacco and AIDS strategies, arranges visits for foreign delegates interested in health affairs, and responds to health-related information requests both from domestic and foreign clients.
These responsibilities are carried out by the following divisions:
International Health Division
This corporate centre of excellence for international health affairs is responsible for:
- coordinating Health Canada's and Canada's representation in key international organizations (e.g., World Health Organization, Pan American Health Organization, United Nations Committees, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development);
- developing and maintaining Canada's relationship with other countries in the health field, including negotiation and maintenance of bilateral and multilateral agreements;
- providing corporate functional guidance across Health Canada for international health policy and program issues;
- taking the lead role for cross-cutting health files at the international level; and
- providing expert and authoritative advice to senior management, the Deputy Minister and the Minister of Health concerning Health Canada's international affairs portfolio and assigned policy and program files.
International Health Policy and Communications Division
The role of the International Health Policy and Communications Division is:
- to facilitate excellence, creativity and effectiveness in the international exchange of information on health policies and practices by:
- helping external clients to connect quickly to information about Canada's health care system and Canada's international health initiatives;
- helping Canadian health decision makers to learn about innovative health policies and practices in other countries;
- contributing international perspectives to Health Canada and other Canadian health agencies as they analyze, evaluate, develop and apply new health policies and practices; and
- sharing Canada's best policies and practices with other countries.
The division manages the department's extensive international visits program as a key element of the information strategy. The division also:
- facilitates the international affairs communications and business planning processes; and
- manages international business and development projects with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) where the department is the main contractor or service provider.