Health Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

Health Care System

Health Human Resource Strategy (HHRS)

The Government of Canada is committed to improving Canadians’ access to sustainable, publicly funded health care services for all Canadians.

The move toward a dynamic Health Human Resource Strategy (HHRS) builds upon the important work of Commissioner Roy Romanow and the Senate Committee chaired by Michael Kirby, which reviewed Canada's current health-care system and made recommendations for its improvement.

Building on the First Ministers' 2003 and 2004 Accord commitments to health human resources, the Pan-Canadian HHRS was launched in 2004/05 to support effective co-ordination and collaborative health human resources planning across the country.

Objective / Vision

Canada will attract, prepare, deploy and retain highly skilled health care providers to give Canadians access to appropriate, timely, effective care now and in the future.

Strategic Directions

To achieve the Strategy's vision, Health Canada is working with the provinces, territories and other key health-related organizations to improve health human resource planning and coordination. The HHRS is pursing four key strategic directions:

  1. Supply of Health Providers - to increase the number of qualified providers entering the health workforce;
  2. More Effective Use of Skills - to increase productivity of health care providers by making full use of their skills; and to improve access to health care services for all Canadians, particularly in underserved areas, by addressing the maldistribution of health human resources;
  3. Creating healthy, supportive, learning workplaces - to enhance working and learning conditions to maintain an experienced, dedicated workforce with the skills to provide high quality, safe, timely care; and
  4. More effective planning and forecasting - to develop the capacity for more effective health human resources planning and forecasting to support an affordable, sustainable health care system.

Health Canada and its partners are pursuing a range of targeted strategies over the short term, designed to increase supply, make more effective use of the workforce’s skills, and provide the ongoing support and education to promote high quality care and effective HHR planning, thus optimizing the Canadian health workforce.

Health Canada (HC) administers HHRS under its Health Care Policy Contribution Program (HCPCP). Eligibility criteria are available through the HCPCP web page.

Accomplishments within the First Five Years of the Strategy

While significant background work on the Strategy has already been completed, we invite you to bookmark this site as it continues to expand along with the Strategy's evolution. Please check back, as we will post news, updates and progress reports as they become available.

Links and Resources