Building our health organizations and systems Health Policy

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health policy as the “decisions, plans, and actions that are undertaken to achieve specific health care goals within a society.”  Health policy sets the foundation for the delivery of safe and cost effective quality care and shapes the entire health care landscape at all levels – institutional and geographic, patient and provider.

Doctor and patient X-ray
  1. 1947

    Saskatchewan introduced a hospital insurance plan

  2. 1950

  3. 1960

  4. 1961

    Exploring National Health Insurance

  5. 1961

    Aware of the potentially devastating impact of medical costs of Saskatchewan families, Tommy Douglas was not satisfied with a hospital insurance plan

  6. 1962

    Henri Breault began advocating for the prevention of accidental child poisonings

  7. 1966

    The Canada Medicare Act was introduced in the House of Commons

  8. 1968

    National Medicare was introduced

  9. 1968


  10. 1970

  11. 1971

    Under Dr. Maurice Leclair’s guidance, the Department of National Health and Welfare created the Long-Range Health Planning Branch

  12. 1973

    Marc Lalonde presented the concepts of "A New Perspective" to the Pan American Health Organization

  13. 1974

    Breault campaigned for over a decade to various levels of government to have the cap mandated by law

  14. 1979

    Canada Health Act

  15. 1980

  16. 1989

    Cate Hankins led pioneering research on HIV in correctional settings in Canada

  17. 1990

  18. 1992

    Dr. Naylor was named the inaugural chief executive of the renowned Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES)

  19. 1993 - 1995

    Co-Principal Investigator of Haida Gwaii Diabetes Project, one of the first participatory research partnerships with Canadian Indigenous communities.

  20. 1995

    The American College of Physicians appointed Dr. Jock Murray as their representative to the White House Working Group on Disability of US Presidents

  21. 1996

    Despite his retirement, Dr. Duncan Sinclair took on arguably his most challenging task in 1996 when he agreed to chair the Health Services Restructuring Commission of Ontario

  22. 2000

  23. 2000

    When the Canadian Institutes of Health Research was formed in 2000, they chose health policy leader Dr. David Naylor as their inaugural governor

  24. 2000

    The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) appointed Dr. Quirion as the first Science Director for the Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA), one of Canada’s 13…

  25. 2003

    Creation of the Public Health Agency of Canada

  26. 2005 - 2008

    Leads the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition

  27. 2007

    Is invited to Australia for what becomes a multi-year/city visit to advise on their commitment to expand the use of health administrative data as a research resource

  28. 2010

  29. 2011

    Dr. Quirion became the first Chief Scientist of Quebec

  30. 2013 - 2016

    Noralou Roos co-authors several e-books on health policy in Canada

  31. 2015

    Nora Lou Roos founds 'GetYourBenefits!' effort in Manitoba

  32. 2020

  33. 2020

    Canada’s COVID-19 Immunity Task Force (CITF) is Co-Chaired by Dr. Hankins

About the CMHF

The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (CMHF) celebrates Canadian heroes whose work advances health in Canada and the world, fostering future generations of health professionals through the delivery of local and national youth education programs and awards.

This enduring tribute to our country’s rich medical history is showcased here and in our physical exhibit hall in London, ON.