Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada: The Romanow Commission

Note: This section replaces the former Web site of the Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada (Romanow Commission) which has been archived in the Government of Canada Web Archive.

In April 2001, the federal government established the Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada to review Medicare - Canada's universally accessible, publicly funded health care system - and recommend policies and measures to improve the system and its long-term sustainability.

The Commission embarked on an ambitious effort to ensure that the final recommendations were evidence-based and reflected the values Canadians want in the health care system. Headed by Roy J. Romanow, Q.C., former Attorney General and Deputy Premier of Saskatchewan, the Commission carried out its work in two distinct phases:

  • fact-finding; and
  • consultation and dialogue - engaging Canadians in a national discussion about the future of Canada's health care system.

The fact-finding phase included:

  • analyzing existing reports on health care;
  • identifying knowledge gaps and commissioning independent research from experts to address those gaps and gain new perspectives;
  • soliciting and analyzing submissions concerning health care challenges and opportunities from health care providers, stakeholder groups and concerned Canadians; and
  • consulting with key health care stakeholders, provincial and territorial governments, and Aboriginal organizations to refine research and consultation priorities.

During the consultation and dialogue phase, the Commission worked collaboratively with a variety of partners to provide Canadians with opportunities to engage in an informed discussion about the future of health care in Canada. Tens of thousands of Canadians - from ordinary citizens to health experts, health ministers and premiers, researchers and health care workers - participated in the process, which included public hearings, workshops, policy dialogues and other consultations.


On November 28, 2002, the Commission tabled its final report, Building on Values: The Future of Health Care in Canada, in the House of Commons. The report recommended sweeping changes to ensure the long-term sustainability of Canada's health care system.

Electronic and print copies are available from Government of Canada Publications.

Copies may also be available through associated bookstores and booksellers that carry Government of Canada publications or through Depository Libraries of Canadian government information.

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