Canadian health care policy

What follows is a guide to resources on Canadian Health Care Policy.  If you want to suggest additions or make comments, contact Hazel Plante, the Liaison Librarian for the Faculty of Health Sciences, 778.782.4173 or


Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) is the authority for healthcare system data in Canada, including:

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
Primary health research funding agency, featuring guidelines for the development and implementation of knowledge translation tool initiatives

CD Howe Institute Health Policy Council - Recent Research 
Evidence-based, peer-reviewed policy analysis of recent projects, including recommendations for future healthcare delivery in Canada

Canada's Health Care System (Health Canada)
Background information about the history, structure and organization of healthcare delivery in Canada

Learn more about the Romanow Commission Report, whose mandate was to "review medicare and engage Canadians in a national dialogue on its future, and make recommendations to enhance the system's quality and sustainability": 

Health policy - Canada

Aboriginal Health Resources and Reports (National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health)
Canadian health policy documents and proposals addressing issues and gaps in First Nations, Metis, and Inuit communities

Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Health Policy
Includes the most recent Annual Report of the AFN, summarizing key health-related issues and activities in the Aboriginal community, both in general terms and specifically by disease/condition

Canada's Aging Population and Public Policy (2011, Government of Canada)
Incorporates health expenditure trends and forecasts into a report on the influence of an aging population on overall healthcare delivery in Canada

Canada Health Act (1985, amended 2014) [link to the Table of Contents of complete document]

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)
In-depth policy statements, including recommendations to improve mental health services and treatment

Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA)
Links to programs (by theme), evidence-based research portals, and policy statements/recommendations to provide in-depth information on a wide range of health issues 

Federal Role in Health and Health Care (2011; revised 2013, Parliament of Canada)
Summary of the primary federal government responsibilities which both directly and indirectly influence healthcare delivery

Mental Health Strategy for Canada (Mental Health Commission of Canada)
Includes a comprehensive proposal to improve mental health policies and reduce disparities of mental health delivery in Canada

Public Health Policy Best Practices Portal (Public Health Agency of Canada)
Canadian and international policy documents, instruments and resources addressing public health issues

Report Card - Canadian Healthcare System (Conference Board of Canada)
Compares Canada's mortality and life expectancy rates with other industrialized nations (using an "A" to "F" grading scale)

Health policy - British Columbia

Consolidated Policy Directory (BC Ministry of Health)
BC government health policy resources

Health Authority Expenditures in British Columbia (2012, Auditor General of BC)
Summarizes healthcare spending by both health region and sector (e.g. mental health, home/community care)

Setting Priorities for the BC Health System  (2014, BC Ministry of Health)
In-depth report which features both policy strategies and future priorities in providing healthcare services to British Columbians

Books (subject search in SFU Catalogue)

To further customize your search in the SFU Catalogue, see the Library Catalogue search guide.

Resources and articles

Sample keywords to use when searching resources for health policy information (listed in prioritized order): 

  • First word in search field: "health", "medical", "medicine", "nursing"
  • Second word (add to first word, to narrow results):  "administration", "care", "cost", "expenditures", "policy", "services"
  • Additional terms (to further narrow results, with geographical or categorical names): "British Columbia", "Canada", "Aboriginal", "First Nations", "Gerontology", "Pediatrics"

Comprehensive databases which include health policy-related publications:

Canadian Electronic Library from desLibris
Primary research reports from both government agencies and independent think tanks (NOTE: some reports may include opinion, and thereby introduce bias within their policy analysis)

Canadian Research Index
Canadian government reports at the municipal, provincial and national level 

Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL)
International collection of English-language health science publications and research, specializing in nursing

Dissertations and Theses Abstracts and Index
This database is the world’s most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses from around the world, spanning from 1743 to the present day.

International Health Policy Monitor
Includes in-depth policy proposals and reforms at the national level, primarily from North American and European nations

Web of Science
Provides a citation index of peer-reviewed journal articles from databases featuring the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences