The Canadian health care system, widely viewed as central to Canada’s national identity and a top policy priority for federal and provincial governments, is a topic of ongoing policy debate in terms of its scope and issues relating to organizational structure, governance, delivery, sustainability, and reform.  This course examines health policy in Canada from a range of perspectives. It will provide you with the historic foundations and key decisions that underpin the architecture of the Canadian health care system. The course will also help you understand the rapidly changing and increasingly politicized policy environment in which economic, cultural, technological, ideological, and globalization forces figure prominently. 

Specifically, the course will focus on issue of global health governance, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals and their impact on sustainable health systems. Students will also be introduced to determinants of health outside of health care systems and to emerging best practices tools for evaluating the consequences of health policy for differently situated populations. To help further knowledge of Canada’s evolving system we will compare and contrast it to systems in the United States and other international jurisdictions.

Course Format and Evalution

Through structured class debates, group presentations, and an applied policy research paper, students will better understand how health policy is developed, implemented and evaluated, and the ways in which values, interests and institutions influence health policy decision-making and implementation, such as the effects of competing social values and the roles of governments, courts, and non-government actors.

  • Participation (60%)
  • Research Paper (20%)
  • Final Examination (20%)