Canada is the federal department responsible for helping the people of Canada maintain and
improve their health.
In partnership with
provincial and territorial governments, Health Canada provides national leadership to
develop health policy, enforce health regulations, promote disease prevention and enhance
healthy living for all Canadians. Health Canada ensures that health services are available
and accessible to First Nations and Inuit communities. It also works closely with other
federal departments, agencies and health stakeholders to reduce health and safety risks to
Through its administration of
the Canada Health Act, Health Canada is committed to
maintaining this country's world-renowned health insurance system which is universally
available to permanent residents, comprehensive in the services it covers, accessible
without income barriers, portable within the country and publicly funded.
Each province and territory administers its own health care plan
with respect for these five basic principles of the Canada Health Act.
Many factors including family
history, social or financial status, physical environment and personal lifestyle choices
influence individual health. By making Canadians more aware of dangers to their health,
protecting them from avoidable risks and encouraging them to take a more active role in
their health, Health Canada fosters a healthier population and contributes to a more
and modernizing Canada's health care system
By managing health risks and
promoting healthy lifestyles, Health Canada helps reduce the incidence of illness and
injury and the cost of treatment. Canadians rely on the federal government, in partnership
with provinces and territories, to maintain a high-quality, affordable health care system.
The federal government works collaboratively with the provinces and territories to test
ways in which the Canadian health care system can be improved and ensure its
sustainability for the future. Provincial and territorial governments are
responsible for the delivery of Canada's health care and hospital services; the federal
government shares in the cost of these services through annual Canada Health and Social
Transfer (CHST) allocations.
the health of Canadians
Health Canada recognizes that health depends on more
than a good health care system.
Factors such as income,
education, social support networks, the environment, and employment and working conditions
determine health and well-being. The Department focuses on this wide range of personal and
collective circumstances when developing strategies to promote health and prevent disease.
Such a comprehensive
population health approach emphasizes positive health activities and illness prevention
measures. The results are long-term benefits for Canadians and reduced pressures on the
health care system. Health Canada works with provincial and territorial governments and
other interested partners to expand knowledge of factors affecting the health of the
general population and specific at-risk groups such as children, seniors, women and First
the health of Canadians
Health Canada collaborates internationally and with
its provincial and territorial counterparts to protect the health of Canadians against
current and emerging health threats.
Through its Health
Intelligence Network, the Department works with other levels of government and the health
care system in the surveillance, prevention, control and research of disease outbreaks
across Canada and around the world. It also monitors health and safety risks related to
the sale and use of drugs, food, chemicals, pesticides, medical devices and certain
consumer products. In addition, Health Canada negotiates agreements regarding hazardous
materials in the workplace, performs medical assessments for pilots and air traffic controllers and conducts environmental health assessments.
with First Nations and the Inuit
Health Canada assists First Nations and Inuit
peoples to attain a level of health comparable to that of other Canadians living in
partnerships and extensive consultations with First Nations and Inuit peoples, the
Department is working toward having Canada's Aboriginal peoples administer their own health programs and resources.
Nations and Inuit communities interested in assuming control over their own health
services have negotiated transfer agreements with the Department. These agreements
encompass community-based services such as communicable disease control, public health and
primary nursing care, addictions counselling and treatment, health education, nutrition,
environmental health, and dental advice and assistance.
also provides certain health-related goods and services to the Status Indian and Inuit
populations and to the Innu of Labrador when the goods and services are not provided by
other provincial or territorial agencies or third-party plans. These Non-Insured Health Benefits
include health care services
such as drugs, medical supplies and equipment, dental care, vision care and medical
Health Canada at your service (Revised July 5,
The Minister of Health
is responsible to Parliament for administering some 20 health-related laws and associated
regulations that govern the overall programs and policies of the Department.
The Minister's portfolio also includes the Canadian
Institutes of Health Research, Patented Medicine
Prices Review Board, Hazardous Materials Information
Review Commission and the Pest Management Regulatory
The Deputy Minister and Associate
Deputy Minister of Health, working with the Departmental Secretariat, support the
Minister and manage departmental operations. Six Assistant Deputy Ministers located in
Ottawa manage the Department's program and administrative branches. Four Regional
Directors General represent departmental interests across the country through