Healthcare Quality Councils: A Pan-Canadian Scan

Rapid Review 3

Milligan C., Peckham A., Marchildon G.

English – [PDF]

The public sector in Canada arrived late to the quality improvement (QI) movement compared to the United States and United Kingdom. In 2002, both the Kirby and Romanow Reports called for greater accountability for quality of care. following the Romanow Report’s recommendation for a pan-Canadian council to regularly assess health system performance, including QI, the 2003 First Ministers’ Accord on Health Care Renewal established the Health Council of Canada. Fifteen years later, the Health Council of Canada is no longer operating[1] but five provincial quality councils have been established. There is no shared definition of healthcare QI in Canada. Quality improvement has been described as a strategic philosophy or culture focused on systematically embedding quality into daily practice. Forging a common language and shared direction is necessary if Canada is to achieve equitable, quality healthcare for all its citizens. This is particularly relevant in today’s era, marked by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, and the health disparities that exist between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples living in Canada. With this rapid review, we provide a broad understanding of quality councils and QI activities throughout Canada—their structural features, mandates, and roles. We also identify complementarities as well as suggest some potential opportunities for collaboration across jurisdictional lines.

[1] The Health Council of Canada ceased operations in 2014.