Past Conferences


The pricing of new drugs has always been a controversial subject. New, usually single source, and ever more expensive, treatments appear every year, stoking the controversy to a fever pitch. While “expensive” used to mean hundreds of dollars annually per patient, it can now mean hundreds of thousands of dollars. With prices changing so rapidly, and new products being introduced so frequently, how can we make evidence-informed decisions about what to cover, ensure we are getting... Read More


Performance measurement in healthcare is aimed at enabling actors throughout the system to make better decisions. Across the globe, many jurisdictions are expanding their use of performance measurement and developing reporting mechanisms – with varying degrees of success.
In Canada, multiple provinces, health regions, and organizations have implemented some form of performance measurement and reporting activities. The investments in these activities, to date, have... Read More


To kick start the conversation on the future of drug coverage reform in Canada, Pharmacare 2020 held a national symposium on February 26-27, 2013. Over two hundred delegates from coast to coast descended on Vancouver to explore challenges with the existing drug coverage system and to map out collective goals for reform. Participants included academics, policy makers, stakeholders, and patients – all of whom had a chance to share their perspectives in a unique interactive forum.... Read More


Spending on health care continues to grow at rates considerably faster than inflation. Many provinces are now asking hard questions about value for money, and in particular, the quality of health care they are receiving for this increased spending. Amongst other effects, this has resulted in increasing attention from provincial governments to so-called “funding arrangements” – the processes through which provincial health ministries (and increasingly regional health authorities)... Read More


The Canadian population is aging. In 2011, the leading edge of the baby boom turns 65 – with the great bulge of that generation to follow. That simple fact has focused important attention on some key realities such as the likely major increase in Canada's dependency ratio. But it has also spawned a dizzying number of assertions, myths, half-truths and misunderstandings about the implications of aging for our health care system. These tend to deflect attention away from the very... Read More


CHSPR’s 2010 conference brought together an international line-up of speakers that shared their expertise and insights from across the full HHR policy spectrum including training, communications, organization, financing, regulation and policy.


CHSPR’s 2009 conference brought together Canadian and international leaders in health services research to explore how science, systems and structures can be organized to develop and apply valued technical and social innovations for patients and populations.


CHSPR’s 2008 conference brought together Canadian and international leaders in health services research to look at how evidence intersects with policy-making, politics, the media agenda, public opinion, and the law.


CHSPR’s 2007 conference, Voices and Choices: Public Engagement in Health Care Policy, brought together researchers, policy makers, senior civil servants, and public representatives to examine the public’s role in health reform.


Pharmaceutical policy has become one of the most important and hotly contested domains of health system management--a rise in prominence largely due to financial realities. Costing over $24 billion, prescription drugs are second only to hospitals in terms of health care spending in Canada. CHSPR’s 18th health policy conference, Toward a National Pharmaceuticals Strategy, brought together leading international pharmaceutical policy experts to tackle some of the most pressing issues... Read More


Featuring keynote speaker Dr Ed Wagner from the Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, CHSPR's 2005 health policy conference focused on an increasingly important issue for today's health care planners: chronic care management. Dr Wagner is an international leader in improving health care for chronic conditions, and the principal architect of the chronic care model. His address will be followed by presentations and a panel discussion of how chronic care management is being implemented... Read More


Accountability has gained increasing prominence in Canadian discussions about health system reform, and performance reporting is seen as a promising approach to inform, guide and evaluate system change in British Columbia. Other jurisdictions, notably the United States and the United Kingdom, have experience in this area and can offer important insights into the challenges of embarking on this agenda. This conference identified reasons behind our increased focus on accountability... Read More


As genetic technologies make the detection of genotypes associated with gene-based diseases increasingly possible, widespread genetic testing is being advocated by some. The technological capacity to detect conditions, however, is outstripping our ability to assess appropriately whether this is effective, ethical and economically feasable. When are such tests indicated? Who should pay for them? To whom should they be offered? Who should have access to the results? What are the... Read More


Canadians are slowly becoming aware that the international agreements now being negotiated to govern trade in services could have massive and irreversible effects on their health care system. The overarching objective of "trade liberalization" motivating these agreements includes a quite specific and deliberate agenda of reducing the role of government, and extending that of private commercial activity in all sectors, including the provision of health care. The objective of this... Read More


Almost weekly, articles appear in most Canadian newspapers alluding to the fact that Canada's health system is in an ever worsening crisis: long delays for surgery and hospitalization, perpetually overcrowded emergency rooms, overworked and increasingly scarce healthcare workforce, a lack of state-of-the-art health technologies, and uneven performance by health personnel. CHSPR's annual policy conference, Threats to Quality: Illusion or Reality? explored internal tensions at play... Read More


Tales from the Other Drug Wars examined the role of research evidence in the newly emerging world of industry-health policy. The conference critically examined the notion that industry policy, which facilitates the free market use of research evidence, is becoming a much stronger determinant of health and health care than any health policy designed to balance that influence, taking other factors into account. The health sector faces unprecedented challenges deciding on what is... Read More


Our understanding of the health impacts of income and social status, social support networks, education, employment and working conditions, the social and physical conditions in which we live, personal health practices and coping skills, healthy child development, culture, gender, biology, genetic endowment and health services, has grown considerably over the past decade. CHSPR's 1998 conference highlighted recent research advances in some of these areas -- particularly early... Read More