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ARCHIVED - RPP 2006-2007
Health Canada

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Section 1: Overview

1.1 Minister's Message

Tony Clement

I am very pleased to present Health Canada's 2006-2007 Report on Plans and Priorities, which illustrates the initiatives the Department will implement over the next three years to address key government priorities in the area of health. I am honoured to be given the opportunity to work on behalf of Canadians towards ensuring an effective, cost-efficient and high quality health system. Canadians collectively contribute to our public health care system, and all governments have the responsibility to ensure that it is readily available to all Canadians across the country.

Since we were elected to govern in January 2006, our government has adopted six operating principles in its approach to managing the Health Portfolio: putting the patient first in disease prevention and early detection initiatives; making strategic and evidencebased investments; ensuring alignment of policies and programs across the Health Portfolio; building relationships with partners based on trust and inclusiveness; improving performance and ensuring value for money; and strengthening accountability to Parliament and the public. We have already demonstrated our commitment to these principles by agreeing to compensate Canadians who contracted hepatitis C from the blood system before January 1, 1986 and after July 1, 1990.

As Minister of Health, I have a wide array of responsibilities and priorities. As Canadians have made access to health care one of their top priorities, our government has made the Patient Wait Times Guarantee one of its top priorities. The federal government will deliver on this priority in concert with provinces, territories, stakeholders and other partners. I am encouraged by the desire expressed among my provincial and territorial colleagues for innovative and creative ideas to reduce the wait times faced too often by Canadians.

For this reason, Health Canada will work with provinces, territories and other stakeholders to:

  1. establish further evidence-based benchmarks for wait times in the areas of cancer, heart, diagnostic imaging procedures, joint replacements and sight restoration;

  2. encourage provincial wait-reduction targets for priority procedures; and

  3. provide regular reports to Canadians on progress on wait times.

A Patient Wait Times Guarantee will complement these efforts and build on current and future accomplishments by assuring Canadians that they will receive needed care within appropriate time frames.

Directly linked to reducing wait times, we will make strides on preventing illness and improving disease management across Canada. To this end, we will work with the Public Health Agency of Canada as well as the provinces and territories to implement the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control to improve cancer screening, prevention and coordination through work with major cancer organizations and stakeholders in Canada.We will also focus efforts in the areas of cardiovascular disease, mental illness and mental health, to name but a few.We will also take action on active living and nutrition, starting with the release later this year of the updated Canada's Food Guide.Work will continue to help ensure safer living and working environments and access to and regulation of pharmaceutical products.

With the SARS outbreak in 2003, we have seen how the health threats that arise outside our borders can quickly pose serious threats to the health of Canadians. These threats are of particular concern because they are nearly impossible to predict and have potentially catastrophic consequences. In partnership with the provinces and territories, First Nations organizations, technical experts and other federal and international partners, I am working to ensure the Government of Canada has an Avian Influenza Plan and a Human Pandemic Influenza Plan in place to mitigate the effects on Canadians in the event of a pandemic. Areas of focus will include avian and pandemic planning, enhanced surveillance capacity, updated quarantine and biosecurity legislation, and infectious disease prevention and control.

In addition to these important areas, we will work on an array of issues fundamental to the health of Canadians. We will strengthen our understanding of the linkages between health and environment, a key concern to Canadians. Health Canada, in partnership with First Nations and Inuit groups, will continue to support sustainable health care services for First Nations on reserve and Inuit people. We will also work with health partners and other federal departments to find new and innovative ways to reduce the health disparities between Aboriginal people and other Canadians. Health research will support the causes and prevention of disease, screening, diagnosis, treatment, support systems and palliative care for a wide range of conditions. For this research, our priority populations are children and youth, seniors and First Nations and Inuit people. We will also improve partnerships and dialogues with international organizations and other countries to help strengthen the Canadian health system.

As our government is determined to provide clear accountability and demonstrate tangible results to Canadians, I have instructed Health Canada to focus on result-based management. While the 2006-2007 Report on Plans and Priorities includes, for the first time, performance indicators for our programs and services to help measure and report on our progress and value for money, I am looking forward to next year's Report to demonstrate further advances on results-based reporting. We will review investments in priority areas to ensure our efforts yield real results that translate into improvements to health for Canadians.

We have established a bold and ambitious agenda but it is no less than what Canadians expect and deserve from their federal government. Through these comprehensive initiatives I am confident that Canada's health system will provide better access to the care one needs and make Canadians among the healthiest people in the world.

Tony Clements signature

1.2 Management Representation Statement

I submit for tabling in Parliament, the 2006-2007 Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP) for Health Canada.

This document has been prepared based on the reporting principles contained in Guide for the Preparation of Part III of the 2006-2007 Estimates: Reports on Plans and Priorities and Departmental Performance Reports:

  • It adheres to the specific reporting requirements outlined in the TBS guidelines;
  • It is based on the Department's approved Program Activity Architecture as reflected in its Management, Resources and Results Structures (MRRS);
  • It presents consistent, comprehensive, balanced and reliable information;
  • It provides a basis of accountability for the results achieved with the resources and authorities entrusted to it; and
  • It reports finances based on approved planned spending numbers from the Treasury Board Secretariat in the RPP.

Morris Rosenberg signature

1.3 Summary Information

Raison d'être: Health Canada was established to help the people of Canada maintain and improve their health. We are committed to improving the lives of all Canadians and making this country's population among the healthiest in the world as measured by longevity, lifestyle and effective use of the public health care system.

Financial Resources (in millions of dollars)
2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009
3,011.1 2,949.1 2,950.3


Human Resources
2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009
8,711 8,773 8,671


Departmental Priorities by Strategic Outcome
Strategic Outcome #1: Strengthened Knowledge Base to Address Health and Health Care Priorities Program Activity: Health Policy. Planning and Information
Corporate Priority Planned Spending (in millions of dollars) Expected Results
2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009
Working with others to strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of the publiclyfunded health care system (ongoing) 217.3 146.1 144.5
  • Goals and objectives identified for specific strategies and initiatives
  • Knowledge development and transfer of specific health policy issues
Contributing to the improvement of the health of Canadians (ongoing) 20.7 20.6 20.5
Reducing the risks to the health of the people of Canada (ongoing) 31.7 33.6 32.3
Strengthening accountability to Parliament and the public (ongoing) 18.7 17.9 17.7
Strategic Outcome #2: Access to Safe and Effective Health Products and Food and Information for Healthy Choices Program Activity: Health Products and Food
Corporate Priority Planned Spending (in millions of dollars) Expected Results
2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009
Working with others to strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of the publiclyfunded health care system (ongoing) 102.4 102.4 97.1
  • Access to Safe and Effective Health Products and Food and Information for Healthy Choices
Contributing to the improvement of the health of Canadians (ongoing) 7.3 7.3 6.9
Reducing the risks to the health of the people of Canada (ongoing) 94.7 94.7 89.8
Strengthening accountability to Parliament and the public (ongoing) 57.7 54.8 54.3
Strategic Outcome #3: Reduced Health and Environmental Risks from Products and Substances, and Safer Living and Working Environments
Program Activity: Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety
Corporate Priority Planned Spending (in millions of dollars) Expected Results
2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009
Working with others to strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of the publiclyfunded health care system (ongoing) 33.2 33.0 33.1
  • Reduced risks to health and safety, and improved protection against harm associated with workplace and environmental hazards and consumer products (including cosmetics)
  • Reduced health and safety risks associated with tobacco consumption and the abuse of drugs, alcohol and other substances
Contributing to the improvement of the health of Canadians (ongoing) 112.1 111.6 117.2
Reducing the risks to the health of the people of Canada (ongoing) 92.2 91.8 86.7
Strengthening accountability to Parliament and the public (ongoing) 52.4 49.8 49.2
Strategic Outcome #3: Reduced Health and Environmental Risks from Products and Substances, and Safer Living and Working Environments
Program Activity: Pest Control Product Regulation
Corporate Priority Planned Spending (in millions of dollars) Expected Results
2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009
Reducing the risks to the health of the people of Canada (ongoing) 40.2 40.2 36.3
  • Access to safer pesticides
  • Strengthened compliance with PCPA and Regulations
  • Users informed of reduced risk practices
  • Transparency of pesticide regulation
  • Improved regulatory efficiencies and cost effectiveness
  • Informed public and stakeholders
Strengthening accountability to Parliament and the public (ongoing) 11.4 11.0 10.8
Strategic Outcome #4: Better Health Outcomes and Reduction of Health Inequalities Between First Nations and Inuit and Other Canadians
Program Activity: First Nations and Inuit Health
Corporate Priority Planned Spending (in millions of dollars) Expected Results
2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009
Working with others to strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of the publiclyfunded health care system (ongoing) 49.6 50.1 50.5
  • Strengthened community programs; better health protection; improved primary health care; and access to non-insured health benefits contribute to improved health status of First Nations and Inuit individuals, families and communities.
Contributing to the improvement of the health of Canadians (ongoing) 1,901.4 1,920.4 1,940.0
Reducing the risks to the health of the people of Canada (ongoing) 46.9 47.4 47.9
Strengthening accountability to Parliament and the public (ongoing) 121.2 116.3 115.3
Note: Figures include amounts for other departmental and regional infrastructure costs supporting program delivery.

Part A: Departmental Overview and Priorities

About Health Canada

Health Canada develops, implements and enforces regulations, legislation, policies, programs, services and initiatives and works with other federal partners, the provinces and territories to maintain and improve the overall health of Canadians. As administrator of the Canada Health Act, we ensure that the principles of Canada's universal health care are respected, allowing Canadians to be confident in the services they receive from the public health care system. The Minister of Health is also responsible for the direct administration of another 18 statutes including the Food and Drugs Act, the Pest Control Products Act and the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act. 1

We provide policy leadership and portfolio coordination among our partners in the Government of Canada's Health Portfolio, each of which produces its own Report on Plans and Priorities, namely:

  • the Public Health Agency of Canada; 2

  • the Canadian Institutes of Health Research; 3

  • the Hazardous Materials Information Review Commission; 4

  • the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board; 5 and

  • the new Assisted Human Reproduction Agency of Canada, which came into being January 12, 2006. 6

Departmental Overview and Priorities

Health Canada also contributes grants and contributions to several health organizations such as Infoway, Canadian Institute for Health Information and Canadian Health Services Research Foundations.

Health Canada Planning Framework for 2006-2007 Report on Plans and Priorities

Health Canada Planning Framework for 2006-2007 Report on Plans and Priorities

Health Canada's Operational Roles

Health Canada employees play key roles in the areas of promoting, protecting and improving the health of Canadians, roles that assist other stakeholders working in the area.


As a science-based department, Health Canada employees are innovators, providing leading-edge science, sound policy research, and effective program and service development. Keeping abreast of global developments on diseases enabled Health Canada to play a leading role in Canada's response to the SARS, BSE and West Nile Virus outbreaks.

Knowledge Brokers

Through research, risk assessments and surveillance, Health Canada provides knowledge to Canadians and others working in the health care field to enable them to make sound choices to protect health. The Department also monitors and researches the health threats from environmental factors such as toxic substances, air and water pollution, climate change and other threats. This work fosters sound decisionmaking and policy-development at all levels to help reduce health risks.


In all program areas, Health Canada brings stakeholders together, as well as provides information, research and education. The work of Health Canada enables Canadians to be up-to-date and informed about the issues that can impact their health.


Health Canada, through the administration of the Canada Health Act, aims to ensure that all eligible residents of Canada have reasonable access to medically necessary insured services. The Department's broad regulatory responsibilities to protect Canadians and promote health and safety range from prescription drugs and vaccines to toxic substances, from cardiac pacemakers to natural health products and food, from consumer goods to pesticides.

Proponents of Transparency

All work at Health Canada, from the assessment of products under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act to the regulation and approval of thousands of products, is conducted transparently. Health Canada has committed to be accountable in delivering results to Canadians. The public had an opportunity to be involved in consultations on major regulatory initiatives such as the new Pest Control Products Act and will continue to be consulted in other areas as part of the Department's consultations framework.

Our Mission and Objectives

Health Canada's mission is to help the people of Canada maintain and improve their health. We strive to accomplish this by promoting and protecting the health of Canadians. In order to achieve this, we will:

  • Enhance the sustainability, innovation and integration of the health system;
  • Sustain health protection and regulations;
  • Contribute to safe environments and products; and
  • Facilitate healthy lifestyle choices among Canadians.
Health Canada and partners helping Canadians make independent, informed choices

The responsibility for promoting, protecting and improving the health of Canadians does not rest with a specific level of government, the medical profession or Canadians themselves. The responsibility is found in an interwoven community of collaborating stakeholders that each contributes to this goal.

Canadians make choices everyday that affect their health and well-being. Environmental, economic and social factors also affect health. Municipal, provincial and territorial governments, health service providers and not-for-profit organizations help ensure community health services are available and provide the heath care system that Canadians rely on to protect and improve their health. The private sector helps develop pharmaceuticals and other health products for Canadians.

In addition to overseeing the Canada Health Act, the federal government helps assess risks to human health, sustains health protection efforts, regulates and approves products, and funds health services. Health Canada provides national leadership and expertise in the development of health science and policy. The federal government provides assistance to provincial and territorial governments in the provision of health care services through the Canada Health Transfer.

With respect to health programming and services for First Nations and Inuit, Health Canada supports public health and community health programs on-reserve and in Inuit communities, provides non-insured health benefits coverage regardless of residence, and delivers primary care services in remote and isolated communities to supplement and support the services that provincial, territorial and regional health authorities provide.

Health Canada's Corporate Priorities

Given the environment in which we operate, Health Canada has identified four corporate priorities to respond to the key challenges and opportunities facing the health of Canadians.

These priorities reflect the Government of Canada's direction and commitments as well as our objectives and planned strategic outcomes, which are long-term benefits to Canadians that stem from our overall mission of helping Canadians maintain and improve their health. They represent the differences we wish to make for Canadians. For more information on Health Canada's strategic outcomes, please refer to Section II of this report.

1. Working with others to strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of the publicly-funded health care system

An efficient and effective health care system is consistently identified as a priority for Canadians. Health Canada will work closely with provincial and territorial governments, as well as health organizations and other stakeholder groups to examine new and innovative ways to strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of a universally accessible and equitable publicly funded health care system.We will work with the provinces and territories to develop the building blocks for a Patient Wait Times Guarantee to ensure that Canadians receive the care they need, when they need it.

2. Reducing the risks to the health of the people of Canada

The Department plays a core role in protecting and promoting the health and safety of Canadians.

A potential pandemic such as the Avian Flu presents a great risk to Canadians and global health in general. That is why pandemic preparedness is a priority for Health Canada and why we will continue to work with the Public Health Agency of Canada, other countries and the World Health Organization to increase international cooperation efforts. We are already active in contributing to pandemic readiness by working in the areas of vaccines, multilateral contributions, workplace health and safety, and in emergency preparedness within First Nations and Inuit communities.

The health of Canadians is linked to the health of the environment. We are actively developing integrated approaches to better assess impacts on health and to develop strategies to mitigate known and emerging risks from pollutants and toxic chemicals in air, water, food and products, for example. Protecting and improving the health of vulnerable populations, such as children, seniors, and Aboriginal peoples, from pollutants and chemicals will benefit all Canadians. We are also active in developing regulations, which contribute to protecting the health of Canadians as well as managing the risks and benefits of health products and devices. We continue to strengthen scientific capacity to inform our regulatory responsibilities and monitor new developments.

3. Contributing to the improvement of the health of Canadians

While the majority of Canadians enjoy a high quality of life, there are areas for improvement. Health Canada will examine and implement new ways to contribute to the improved health of Canadians through collaborative work with other organizations in the Health Portfolio and with other departments towards the Government of Canada's goal of improving the quality of life of Canadians.We are working with the Public Health Agency of Canada to advance efforts on cancer, to support the efforts of stakeholders and to improve screening and prevention.

Health is more than just physical health. Mental health is an integral part of overall well-being and we are working to address mental health and mental illness issues.

A major area of concern continues to be Aboriginal health. While Aboriginal Canadians are living longer, the status of their health continues to lag behind that of other Canadians. Our goal, in collaboration with Aboriginal organizations, Health Portfolio partners, other departments and the provinces and territories, is to deliver efficient and effective health programs, services and initiatives to help improve health outcomes for First Nations and Inuit people.

4. Strengthening accountability to Parliament and the public

Our ability to effectively respond to the health needs of Canadians depends on rigourous management practices to achieve results and ensure value for money. We are reinforcing our commitment to accountability, transparency and sound management of resources by continuing to integrate the principles of modern comptrollership, introducing improved systems and processes for departmental operations and addressing human resource priorities. As part of our continued effort to strengthen our management practices, we will:

  • fortify our management of grants and contributions by ensuring that solid governance structures and administrative processes are in place;
  • improve governance and control of contracts using a Contract Management Framework established on the basic principles of responsibility, accountability, monitoring, oversight and audit;
  • strengthen accountability and stewardship by improving performance measurement and renewing our program evaluation functions;
  • continue to initiate reviews of existing systems and processes in line with Government-wide initiatives;
  • continue the implementation of "The Way Forward", an information technology (IT) project that will consolidate and realign IT resources and position the Department to align with Government of Canada common services initiatives and generate savings;
  • continue the implementation of the new Chief Financial Officer Branch to support the effective management of resources and improve our ability to achieve results across programs through a strengthened Financial Management and Control Framework; and
  • establish a work program to continuously review and improve measurable expected results and performance indicators for the 2007-2008 RPP and beyond.

Health Canada is considered to be a leader within the Government of Canada in implementing the Management Accountability Framework (MAF), a framework that establishes the standards for management accountability in the Government of Canada. Health Canada will continue to build upon this solid foundation by integrating MAF requirements into the management culture of the Department including enhancing a risk-based approach to programs and activities.

Key Areas of Focus for Planning Period

Taking into account the current operating context, the emerging risks to the health of Canadians and the trends in Canadian society, Health Canada will focus on the following key strategic areas for the 2006- 2009 planning period:

  1. Develop the building blocks for establishing a Patient Wait Times Guarantee - Reach a shared understanding on ensuring that the health care needs of Canadians are met within a universally accessible and equitable health care system. Continue working with provinces, territories and other stakeholders to share best practices and innovative initiatives to develop the building blocks for establishing a Patient Wait Times Guarantee.
  2. Advance efforts to prepare for a Global Pandemic Outbreak - Collaborating with other international organizations, departments, provinces, territories and stakeholders to ensure that Canada is well positioned to prepare for and respond to a possible pandemic influenza outbreak.
  3. Implement the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control - Cancer prevention is a priority for the Government of Canada and Health Canada. To this end, we will collaborate with the Public Health Agency of Canada and other organizations to improve cancer screening, prevention and coordination through the Implementation of the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control. The Strategy's main objectives are to reduce the number of new cases of cancer in Canada, to enhance the quality of life of those living with the disease and to reduce the number of premature deaths attributable to cancer.
Operating principles

We are guided by several operating principles in the delivery of our programs and services that help us maximize efficiency in reaching our objective of improving and maintaining the health of Canadians. These operating principles cover the broad spectrum of Health Canada's activities, which range from indepth policy analysis to scientific research.

  • Sound, informed decision-making based on leading edge science
    To bring leadership, coherence and expertise to the overall strategic direction of Health Canada's scientific responsibilities and activities, Health Canada has established the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS). The OCS will continue to champion science throughout the Department by coordinating involvement in research and regulatory science within Health Canada and within the federal science and technology community, providing scientific expertise on Health Canada priorities, fostering and facilitating partnerships, promoting and communicating Health Canada science and research, and protecting intellectual property.

  • Efficient and sustainable resource utilization within legal, ethical and operational frameworks
    We are committed to sound financial management and delivering value for money for Canadians. Through the newly established Chief Financial Officer Branch, we will continue to review processes to optimize the effectiveness and efficiency of the use of our resources and follow central agency direction to ensure management accountability.

  • Transparency
    We strive to develop and deliver our programs and services in an open and transparent manner by ensuring stakeholders and the public have tangible input to our work through vehicles such as public and stakeholder consultation.

  • Cooperation and engagement with provinces, territories, partners and stakeholders
    We are committed to working with our partners including provincial and territorial governments, First Nations, Inuit and other Aboriginal organizations, communities, professional associations, consumer groups, universities and research institutes, international organizations, not-for-profit organizations, volunteers and other federal departments and agencies.

  • Engagement in international health issues
    Increased global mobility enhances the quick spread of disease throughout the world and necessitates our active involvement in the international health community. We are committed to learning from the experiences of other countries and their best practices to minimize the risks to Canadians from global health threats.
Contributing to Government of Canada Strategic Outcomes

The following chart shows how Health Canada's Program Activities align with the Government of Canada's Strategic Outcomes, which were developed by Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

Health Canada's Program Activities

Part B: Internal Areas of Interest for the Planning Period

Health Canada's Operating Environment

Taking stock of domestic and international trends on a variety of aspects and monitoring emerging risks to the health of Canadians help us gain greater insight into Health Canada's operating environment and develop appropriate policies and initiatives. The description of health risks, opportunities and priorities in Canada five years ago does not match today's description and may be very different from what we will face 5 or 10 years from now.

The Changing Face of Canada

Several changes are taking place in Canadian society that affect policy and program development at Health Canada. It is well known that seniors in Canada are growing in number and living longer, posing new challenges for all aspects of health care. The average Canadian child will have an older mother and fewer siblings. A growing proportion of children are living only with single parents and many face low-income. The health system will continue with a growing proportion of them living only with single parents and many still in poverty, especially those living with only their mother. The health system will continue to face the challenges of compromised health and poor living habits among a significant portion of children living in a level of poverty. Over the coming decade, Canadians are more likely to be living in an urban centre. Onefifth will be a visible minority with roots in Asia or the Middle East and speaking languages other than French or English. A more culturally and ethnically diverse society will continue to increase the demand for alternative therapies and service providers.

Technology Pervasive in Daily Life Non-traditional disciplines such as biotechnology, artificial transplants and nanotechnology provide exciting potential to address health issues in new ways and dramatically improve the health of many Canadians in the coming decades. These new technologies will continue to challenge us to have the appropriate regulatory science to input into decision-making.

Ethical and social issues will continue to challenge us in new areas including cloning, DNA manipulation and genomics. As advances in science and technology provide more pervasive solutions in the area of health, it will be imperative to continue to integrate science into decision-making by government, industry and individuals.

The market for pharmaceuticals is expanding at an incredible rate and an efficient and effective health system must respond to this by ensuring that Canadians have timely access to safe and effective health products, drugs, food and information.

Evolving Attitudes and Values towards Health

There has been a significant shift in the Canadian public's perception of health care delivery as they are moving from patients to consumers. Because health information is readily available from a number of different avenues, Canadians are more informed than ever about their health and are more willing to discuss sensitive health issues. Canadians are also seeking new ways to have their health concerns addressed and are influenced by factors, which include religion and culture. They are also more engaged in the review of the public health care system and expect governments to discuss these issues in an open and transparent manner.

Deteriorating Physical Environment

The relationship between human health, the environment and the economy is one of the most complex health areas facing governments in Canada. The health of many Canadians will continue to be threatened by air, water and land pollution, climate change and the thinning ozone layer. The health impacts of many environmental risks are not fully understood. The increasing incidence of respiratory illness from poor air quality could grow with the expansion of urban areas and with the advancement of climate change. The health of Aboriginal communities in the North is especially vulnerable to threats posed by significant changes associated with climate change. Health Canada must be prepared to address the public expectation for protection as well as provide more developed information on the adverse health impacts and enforcement that may be required.

Toward Full Globalization

All departments including Health Canada must acknowledge the increasing unrestricted movement of people, goods and services across the globe and the potential consequences that may arise. Governments and the health community are moving beyond the "what if" to a "when" regarding the possible outbreak of a pandemic. The speed with which a pandemic outbreak can spread internationally is alarming. In order to address this potential disaster, Health Canada is actively participating in and leading many international activities such as the Global Health Security Initiative and the APEC Health Task Force.

Canada's social responsibility to continue to help address the growing health problems faced by the world's poorer nations will only increase as the life-expectancy gap between developed and less developed countries is increased by HIV-AIDS and other new and re-emerging diseases, poverty, child mortality, injuries, and non-communicable diseases.

There are opportunities to help the international community benefit from our experience in many areas including healthy living, tobacco cessation, early childhood health along with disease prevention, vaccinations, and access to safe water, to name a few areas.

Emerging Illnesses, Injuries and Diseases in Canada

While the threat of diseases outside our borders are of particular concern, just as alarming is the growing rate of chronic diseases and injuries in Canada. It is estimated that over 60,000 Canadians will die of cancer this year alone and another 79,000 will die from heart disease. Injuries are the leading cause of death for Canadians aged 1 to 44. What makes these figures particularly alarming is that many of these deaths could be prevented. A more informed population is a healthier one and Health Canada with its partners must work to address these issues and provide Canadians with the information they need to make healthy, independent choices.

Health Canada: Collaboration at Work

At Health Canada, we understand the importance of working collaboratively in order to deliver effective programs and services to Canadians. Working with an integrative and horizontal approach allows us to draw on our strengths and provide effective policy and scientific analysis across our many fields of expertise. For this reason, Health Canada is committed to continuing horizontal collaboration for this planning period. There are many ways in which Health Canada collaborates horizontally with partners to improve and maintain the health of Canadians.

  • Departmentally
    At Health Canada, we are organized to respond to the various health needs of Canadians. We collaborate internally to provide the best possible services and programs to Canadians. By doing so, we draw upon not only our strengths but our experiences in any given situation. Examples of departmental horizontal initiatives include tobacco and substance abuse programs, environmental health programs, and research on pesticide residues.

  • Across the Health Portfolio
    Providing health policy leadership and coordination within the Health Portfolio gives Health Canada an important role in the development and implementation of programs and services to Canadians. We collaborate horizontally on a number of health initiatives such as our work with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) on the Healthy Living and Chronic Diseases Strategy as well as on emergency preparedness and response issues. We obtain much of our health and surveillance data from PHAC. Other examples of cross-cutting initiatives include the alcohol strategy, First Nations and Inuit programs, pandemic preparedness and health benchmarks and indicators.

  • Across the Government of Canada
    Health Canada recognizes the importance of horizontal initiatives across the Government of Canada. Health Canada is one of the largest departments within the federal government and health is a key consideration in the majority of the government's programs and services. Some of the interdepartmental programs we contribute to include the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and Pesticide Regulation, as well as the Service Improvement Initiative and the Sustainable Development Strategy.

  • Provincial, Territorial and Aboriginal
    Health Canada works in collaboration with provincial, territorial and Aboriginal organizations on priority areas such as implementing the First Ministers' commitments of the 10-Year Plan to Strengthen Health Care. Ongoing collaborative efforts will include closing the gap in health outcomes between the general Canadian population and First Nations and Inuit; making timely access to quality care a reality for all Canadians; furthering the development and implementation of the National Pharmaceuticals Strategy; and ongoing efforts in public health and pandemic preparedness. We will also undertake a review of commitments of the 2005 Meeting of First Ministers and Aboriginal Leaders.

  • Internationally
    Health Canada is exploring ways to strengthen the regulatory capacity of developing countries, especially as it relates to imported products, through organizations such as the World Health Organization. We will complete the implementation of the International Regulatory Cooperation Strategic Framework, which will ensure effective prioritization and evaluation of regulatory activities.We will establish a Memorandum of Understanding with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority in order to increase international cooperation and information sharing.We will implement regulatory cooperation initiatives under Memoranda of Understanding and Mutual Recognition Agreements on information and technical exchanges with Switzerland, U.S., China and Australia, amongst others. Health Canada is also developing an arrangement with the Therapeutic Goods Administration in the Department of Health and Ageing of Australia that allows for the recognition of quality management systems certificates issued for medical devices.
Responding to Human Resources Risks and Challenges

Health Canada's human resources planning process supports the Department's business objectives.

The Department's Annual Report on Human Resources Indicators identifies human resource management issues, risks and challenges and identifies activities that can be taken to address them. For example, the number of employees who are eligible to retire is rising every year. Therefore, managers have been asked, in their Human Resources planning, to identify succession and knowledge transfer strategies to ensure that the Department can continue to manage staff turnover and deliver results for Canadians.

Given the unique human resources issues at the branch level, each Branch human resources plan identifies the risks and activities to address them. An example of this would be that each Branch has developed a strategy to address the gap in the linguistic capacity of their key feeder groups. As well, given the strong need for renewal in the human resources community the Department is participating in an interdepartmental initiative to recruit and develop qualified human resources professionals. Health Canada is developing a departmental strategic human resources plan that will respond to Branch and Corporate risks, and provide direction for the integrated Human Resources Planning process for 2007-2008.

As a science-based department, Health Canada hires scientists as researchers and regulators, in healthrelated fields and in pure and applied science. The Department has identified several science specialties as 'shortage areas', and has developed a recruitment strategy and an employment inventory to ensure there is a pool of candidates available to fill vacant positions.

In addition, the Department performs a regular workforce analysis to identify gaps in employment equity representation (women, Aboriginal people, persons with disabilities and members of visible minority groups) and to identify measures that can be taken to address those gaps. As a result, since April 2, 2004, the representation of employees from employment equity groups has met or exceeded the proportion of such individuals available from the labour force.

Finally, in 2006-2007, we will continue to support the implementation of the Public Service Modernization Act (PSMA), a major building block in the Government of Canada's overall strategy to modernize human resources management through training and communication activities, the review of staffing policies and guidelines, the piloting of new staffing tools and approaches, and the implementation of a Staffing Monitoring Action Plan. The PSMA and the strengthening of corporate services through the human resources planning process will help ensure that the Department has the human resources it requires to deliver on its mission.

Incorporating Sustainable Development Principles into Practice

Health Canada will continue to work towards fulfilling departmental commitments outlined in its Sustainable Development Strategy 2004-2007, Becoming the Change We Wish to See, in which programs and services identify how they will incorporate sustainable development principles into practice.

Further exploration of the social dimension and its impact on health will be undertaken to better integrate this pillar with environmental and economic pillars within the context of the development of the Sustainable Development Strategy 2007-2010.

In the upcoming year, efforts will be made to work across federal departments and create interdepartmental targets, where appropriate, to facilitate better linkages of activities fostering a sustainable development approach in areas of mutual interest. Health Canada will also do its part to contribute towards government-wide initiatives, including integrating green procurement policy into the Department.


1 For more information on Legislative Acts, please visit the Department of Justice Canada's website at: