Building resilient, sustainable healthcare systems in Canada

[Above] Christian Dubé, Quebec Minister of Health at recent Partnership for Health Systems Sustainability and Resilience Workshop.

Our healthcare systems are on the brink of collapse across Canada, harming healthcare workers and significantly impeding patient care. To create meaningful change, academics, policy makers, patients, healthcare professionals, industry and all levels of government must work together on a scale and scope we’ve not historically seen in Canada to build more resilient and sustainable health systems.

Motivated by a shared commitment to improve health systems, AstraZeneca co-founded the Partnership for Health System Sustainability and Resilience (PHSSR) with the London School of Economics (LSE) and the World Economic Forum. Active in more than 30 countries worldwide, the global collaboration works with health stakeholders to develop evidence-informed policy recommendations that will improve the sustainability and resilience of healthcare systems.

Last year, PHSSR launched its Canadian report, which outlines a series of policy recommendations that could be implemented in practical and impactful ways if we can get partners to the table with a willingness to collaborate for the betterment of Canada’s healthcare systems. The report calls for the implementation of the Pan-Canadian Health Data Strategy to improve health human resource planning. It also urges reforms to how we govern, fund and organize primary care resources to improve the quality of care for Canadians, while alleviating burden from our health systems.

To initiate action, we brought together a diverse group of health stakeholders to partake in a constructive debate and discussion around key report findings and actionable policy recommendations. The conclusions drawn from this discussion emphasize the importance of cooperation from both public and private systems to improve health system metrics, and the need for proactive and value-based healthcare systems with the ability to measure and evaluate patient outcomes.

More recently, the PHSSR framework was applied in Quebec through a consultation that brought together more than 50 cross-sectional health system stakeholders – including Health Minister Christian Dubé and Assistant Deputy Minister Pierre-Albert Coubat – to discuss solutions to improve and futureproof Quebec’s healthcare. With the province’s healthcare system undergoing proposed reforms and transformation through introduction of Bill C-15, this consultative workshop supported timely, real-world application of the PHSSR framework.

Despite the diversity of participants and perspectives, a shared desire to collaborate to create a more sustainable and resilient system led to the establishment of ten concrete recommendations in the following domains: governance, service delivery, population health, and financing. These recommendations will be formally outlined in the new PHSSR Consultation Report entitled Towards a Sustainable and Resilient Quebec Health System, which is set to be published in the coming weeks.

The success of the PHSSR framework in Canada thus far is a testament to a collective desire to improve the Canadian healthcare system. Everyone has a role to play in improving the sustainability and resilience of our health systems and we mustn’t lose momentum. We see our role at AstraZeneca as being a convenor and problem solver – helping to bring the right people together and collectively harnessing great knowledge, expertise, ideas and shared experience so that we can come up with the best solutions.


AstraZeneca is a Sponsor of the Parliamentary Health Research Caucus Luncheon Celebrating the 2023 Gairdner Awards. Visit to learn more.