What is the Health System Sustainability Initiative?
Government spending on health care has been growing more rapidly than inflation for years and is at risk of crowding out spending on other publicly funded services. This has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic which has increased health care spending, reduced government revenues, deferred care for non-urgent health problems and exposed and exacerbated health inequities. The result is that urgent action is needed to ensure the long-term sustainability of health care systems and other publicly funded programs.
In an effort to build a more sustainable future for Canada’s health system, The Centre for Health Policy is leading the Health System Sustainability Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to design evidence-informed health policy options to increase value for money in Canada’s health care systems and to improve health system sustainability. By prioritizing evidence and engagement, this initiative aims to foster evidence-informed health policy reform that is urgently needed for the well-being of all Canadians.
With the understanding that ongoing relationships between researchers and decision makers is key to incorporating evidence into policy development and evaluation, the health sustainability initiative will be driven by research and engagement.
The initiative has two phases of work:
Phase 1: Identifying priorities and opportunities for health system reform.
Citizens, policy researchers, government decision makers, and health system leaders will participate in a deliberative dialogue (the Health Policy Forum) to identify evidence-informed health policy recommendations, informed by a synthesis of data from international health policy reform initiatives, a review of national health policy reform initiatives and by stakeholder interviews.
Phase 2 - Designing, testing, and mobilizing the policy options identified in Phase 1.
Once we have identified potential targets for policy development we will further engage with experts and individuals with lived experience in those areas to develop and test a suite of policy options. To facilitate the implementation of evidence-informed policy options, the Centre for Health Policy will develop and leverage partnerships between researchers and decision makers at all levels and will utilize the Forum’s recommendations for overcoming barriers to implementation.
This initiative will use the following principles to develop evidence-informed policy options for decision makers:
● Improving population health
● Value for money
● Patient experiences
● Provider experiences