Bold and urgent collaboration is critical to create a sustainable, crisis-ready health care system in Canada

Canada’s health care systems have long been a point of pride and a pillar of the country’s national identity. But these systems are on the brink of collapse, harming health care workers and significantly impeding patient care. Urgent action is required.

Even before COVID-19, our health care systems struggled to meet the demands of a growing and aging population and the increasing burden of chronic illness. These issues are particularly acute in rural and remote areas and within racialized and disadvantaged communities. The impacts will be felt for years to come.

Canada’s lack of preparedness for the pandemic not only affected our health care systems and our citizens, but also rippled across our economy. The health of society is intrinsically linked to the strength and well-being of our economy. Investing in health as a strategic asset is essential to building resilience and future-proofing our health care systems and livelihoods.

How can we learn, grow and create more resilient and sustainable health care systems? It will take collaboration across many stakeholders on a scale and scope we have not seen in Canada.

The pandemic showed us the power of science and technology and how public-private partnerships can drive rapid innovation and improve public health. All stakeholders have a role and we must work together.

That’s why AstraZeneca partnered with the London School of Economics and the World Economic Forum early in the pandemic to create the Partnership for Health System Sustainability and Resilience (PHSSR), a global collaboration between academic, non-governmental, life sciences, health care and business organizations to develop evidence-informed policy recommendations to improve the sustainability and resilience of health care systems in a post-COVID world.

The Canadian PHSSR report, written by Associate Professor Sara Allin from the University of Toronto’s Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (the Canadian partner for PHSSR) was released on November 16, 2022. The report uses a framework developed by London School of Economics to examine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and risks of Canada’s health care systems across seven key areas.

It includes 29 policy recommendations that could be implemented in practical and impactful ways if we can get partners to collaborate for the betterment of Canada’s health care systems. Some of the recommendations include a call for implementing the pan-Canadian Health Data Strategy to help better plan health human resources, predict disease progression and measure health outcomes. It also urges reforms on how we govern, fund and organize primary care to improve the quality of care for Canadians, while taking the burden off other parts of the system.

As a global life sciences company, AstraZeneca believes it has a role to play in tackling some of the biggest sustainability challenges of our time. Together, we must find solutions that will lead to resilient and sustainable health care systems to serve Canadians now and in the future.

Let’s not allow this report to become another analysis that sits on the shelf. The opportunity for bold and urgent action is right now.



AstraZeneca Canada is a Sponsor of the Game Changers in Health Research and Health Innovation: Focus on Aging – Panel Presentation and Parliamentary Health Research Caucus Luncheon. Click here to learn more