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Episode 23: Connecting the Health Care System: Canada’s Approach to Health Data and Implications for Cancer Care
July 19, 2023

Episode 23 | Connecting the Health Care System: Canada’s Approach to Health Data and Implications for Cancer Care

Canadians take pride in the health care system. However, access to health care services across Canada remains an ongoing challenge. The pressures within our system – an aging population, chronic illness, hallway medicine and increased demand, among others – have only been heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Canadians, be they patients, health care workers, or otherwise, expect more from their health care system. 

On February 7, 2023, and subsequently in Budget 2023, the Government of Canada outlined its plan to invest close to $200 billion over 10 years to improve health care services for Canadians, including a commitment by all levels of government to improve how health information is collected, shared and used by adopting common standards and policies. 

In this episode, we learn more about how the Government of Canada is working with provinces and territories, health data partners, and other stakeholders to modernize Canada’s health data system. We also hear from the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) to contextualize the necessity and impact of pan-Canadian efforts to modernize Canada’s health data system. With a federal health plan that puts health data front and centre, this episode will explore what the future state could be for Canadians and the health care system with more robust, quality data – using cancer as a tangible example.

Jo Voisin is Assistant Deputy Minister at Health Canada’s Strategic Policy Branch. 

In her ten years working at Health Canada, she was instrumental in the negotiation of the Common Statement of Principles and health agreements with provinces and territories in 2017, focused on funding for home and community care, and mental health and addictions. She occupied several executive leadership positions, including in federal-provincial-territorial relations, health product regulation, horizontal policy and public health. Jo returned to Health Canada in 2020 to support Canada’s efforts to fight COVID-19 after two years working in youth employment policy. 

Jo also worked in social policy at the Privy Council Office, and in economic policy at Treasury Board Secretariat and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. Jo is an avid weekend and vacation cyclist, as well as an artist.

Dr. Stuart Edmonds joined the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) in February 2020 following the amalgamation with Prostate Cancer Canada (PCC). As Executive Vice President of Mission, Research and Advocacy, he oversees the Research and Advocacy teams.

Prior to the amalgamation, Stuart spent eight years at PCC as Vice President of Research, Health Promotion and Survivorship. He has held leadership roles at several national cancer research institutes and government agencies. Stuart holds a Doctorate in pharmacology from Oxford University.