Profiles of Public Health Systems in Canada: Jurisdictional Review Methodology

The Profiles of Public Health Systems in Canada are part of a research project titled Platform to Monitor the Performance of Public Health Systems, led by Principal Investigators Dr. Sara Allin,

Dr. Andrew Pinto and Dr. Laura Rosella from the University of Toronto. The project involves the participation of knowledge users, collaborators and an inter-disciplinary team of scholars from across Canada, and aims to develop a platform to compare public health system performance across Canada. To achieve this aim, the project comprises three phases:

  1. Produce detailed descriptions of the public health financing, governance, organization, and workforce in each of the 13 provinces and territories using a literature review with results validated by decision makers.
  2. Conduct a set of comparative in-depth case studies examining implementation and outcomes of reforms, and their impacts on responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  3. Define indicators of public health system performance with structure, process, and outcome measures.

The National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy (NCCHPP) joined the research project working group in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, and is now proud to publish their work as a series of 13 Canadian Public Health System Profiles, with supplementary methodological materials. The series of public health system profiles are available on the NCCHPP website at:


The objective of this jurisdictional review is to gather up-to-date and reliable publicly available and peer-reviewed literature detailing how provincial/territorial public health systems in Canada are organized, governed, financed, and supported in terms of their workforce. Between 2020 and 2021, using the strategy presented below, study team members conducted searches for specific topics of interest. Literature meeting the inclusion criteria was abstracted using a standardized data abstraction form adapted from a template developed by the European Observatory for Health Systems and Policies (details below) (Rechel, Jakubowski, et al., 2018; Rechel, Maresso, et al., 2018). A narrative synthesis of information was used to draft detailed “Profiles of Public Health Systems in Canada,” which were critically reviewed by study team members and independently reviewed by subject matter and local experts external to our study team.

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ISBN (Digital)
978-2-550-90461-8 (English PDF [Set]) and 978-2-550-90462-5 (English PDF)
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