Page 5: Public Health Agency of Canada– 2015-2016  – Departmental Performance Report - Section III

Section III: Analysis of Programs and Internal Services

Programs

1.1 Program: Public Health Infrastructure

Description

The Public Health Infrastructure Program strengthens Canada’s public health workforce capability, information exchange, and federal, provincial and territorial networks, and scientific capacity. These infrastructure elements are necessary to support effective public health practice and decision-making in Canada. Working with federal, provincial and territorial (F/P/T) stakeholders and within existing collaborative mechanisms, the program supports planning for and building consensus on strategic and targeted investments in public health infrastructure, including public health research, training, tools, best practices, standards, and mechanisms to facilitate information exchange and coordinated action. Public health laboratories provide leadership in research, technical innovation, reference laboratory services, surveillance, outbreak response capacity, and national laboratory coordination to inform public health policy and practice. Through these capacity-building mechanisms and scientific expertise, the Government of Canada facilitates effective coordination and timely public health interventions which are essential to having an integrated and evidence-based national public health system based on excellence in science. Key stakeholders include local, regional, provincial, national and international, public health organizations, practitioners and policy makers, researchers and academics, professional associations, and non-governmental organizations.

Program Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

Canadians depend on robust public health services that respond effectively to emerging and ongoing issues. PHAC plays key roles that public health service providers across the country rely on to help them deliver results to their communities. During 2015–16, PHAC made progress in supporting an effective public health system for all Canadians by addressing three broad priorities, with results and highlights as noted below.

Building Public Health Domestically and Internationally

PHAC has ongoing responsibilities to help enhance the skills of people who support public health programs and to ensure that Canada has the laboratory and technical capacity needed to respond to emerging and ongoing public health challenges with recent notable progress.

  • PHAC worked with provinces and territories to strengthen their capacity to manage public health risks such as the Zika virus. This included rapidly establishing diagnostic methods aimed at returning Canadian travellers and others with exposure risks and developing a risk model for Zika virus spread in Canada.
  • PHAC continued to provide unique public health practitioner training programs, such as the Canadian Field Epidemiology Program that earned international accreditation in March 2016. PHAC’s Canadian Public Health Service enabled 27 people to gain experience in supporting and delivering a variety of programs in Northern, remote, and isolated areas.
  • More than 650 Canadian public health practitioners used PHAC’s Skills Online program to build their expertise.
  • In support of a 2015 G7 commitment, Canada helped other countries in the Americas implement the International Health Regulations to help strengthen global health security.
Public Health Monitoring and Information Sharing

Because Canada’s public health system involves many partners and stakeholders, PHAC plays a critical leadership role in the work with provinces and territories in building shared arrangements to help every partner identify and act more quickly on public health challenges of importance to Canadians.

  • As part of implementing the new Multilateral Information Sharing Agreement on infectious diseases and public health across Canada, PHAC led efforts to put an effective governance system in place. This will enable timely sharing of infectious disease information across the public health system.
  • PHAC and its provincial and territorial partners started to implement the new pan-Canadian approach to establish priorities for tracking and monitoring diseases in Canada, beginning with work on governance and an Ethics Framework. These will strengthen public health decision-making and actions for the health of Canadians.
  • PHAC developed new technology and infrastructure as part of an upgraded PulseNet Canada for the rapid identification and response to food-borne illnesses and outbreaks.
  • The Public Health Network generated improvements to monitoring and reporting of health inequalities, progress on injury prevention, and recommendations on vaccine acceptance and managing risks to Canada’s vaccine supplies.
Advancing Public Health Science and Innovation

PHAC continued to be a leader in the ongoing scientific and technological innovation that enhances Canada’s ability to respond to infectious disease threats.

  • PHAC genetic research into antimicrobial resistant microorganisms is strengthening Canada’s ability to analyze, detect, and respond to these pathogens and is being shared internationally.
  • PHAC has improved Canada’s public health laboratory detection and response capacity through research resulting in new diagnostic testing methodologies, emergency response training, and biocontainment operations.
Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2015–16
Main Estimates
2015–16
Planned Spending
2015–16
Total Authorities
Available for Use
2015–16
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2015–16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
114,621,598 114,621,598 119,798,669 116,628,229 2,006,631
Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2015–16
Planned
2015–16
Actual
2015–16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
698 704 6
Performance Results
Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Canada has the public health system infrastructure to manage public health risks of domestic and international concern Level of Canada’s compliance with the public health capacity requirements outlined in the International Health Regulations 3 2Table note b
Canada is able to use highly specialized laboratory technologies to identify and characterize pathogens in support of public health surveillance and investigation of disease outbreaks The number of pathogens for which molecular typing is offered by national laboratories 128 131

1.2 Program: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

Description

The Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Program aims to promote better overall health of the population—with additional focus on those that are most vulnerable—by promoting healthy development among children, adults and seniors, reducing health inequalities, and preventing and controlling chronic and infectious diseases. Working in collaboration with provinces and territories, the Program develops and implements federal aspects of frameworks and strategies (e.g., Curbing Childhood Obesity: A Federal, Provincial and Territorial Framework for Action to Promote Healthy Weights, national approaches to addressing immunization, HIV/AIDS) geared toward promoting health and preventing disease. The Program carries out primary public health functions of health promotion, surveillance, science and research on diseases and associated risk and protective factors to inform evidenced-based frameworks, strategies, and interventions. It also undertakes health promotion and prevention initiatives working with stakeholders to prevent chronic disease and injury, and to help prevent and control infectious disease.

PHAC FACT

The Canada Communicable Disease Report has the latest information on infectious diseases and had almost half a million hits in 2015.

Program Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

The provinces, territories, and health stakeholders look to PHAC for leadership in support of more effective strategies and actions to address major health challenges facing Canadians. During 2015–16, PHAC made progress in addressing critical Canadian health promotion and disease prevention challenges as noted below.

Infectious Diseases and Immunization

PHAC continued to improve knowledge and awareness to prevent infectious diseases and to promote immunization in a range of ways.

  • Provided leadership for Canada-wide awareness activities promoting immunization and the appropriate use of antibiotics through the National Immunization Campaign and Antibiotic Awareness Week.
  • PHAC updated key public health guidance materials such as “A Parent’s Guide to Vaccination” to meet identified needs including Arabic translations for Syrian refugees.
  • 16 webinars reached over 4,500 public health stakeholders on topics such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, health care provision to Syrian refugees, and antimicrobial resistant microorganisms.
  • Analyzed and shared immunization coverage data to help inform targeted strategies for under-immunized or unimmunized groups.

Many PHAC responsibilities related to infectious diseases centre on collaborations with partners and stakeholders to develop specific public health strategies and initiatives.

  • Implementation of the federal tuberculosis framework included actions aimed at prevention and control for Canadians coming from high incidence countries and supporting innovative, culturally appropriate initiatives in northern indigenous communities.
  • A federal action plan was completed to support vaccine innovation and research to strengthen and accelerate the development of vaccines and vaccine technologies.
  • The ongoing PHAC implementation of the Federal Framework on Antimicrobial Resistance was complemented by initial work on a pan-Canadian AMR strategy.
  • Increased engagement and awareness through planning for a national conference under the Action Plan on Lyme Disease, including consultations, awareness activities targeted to health professionals, improved laboratory diagnostic practices, and the identification of needed research.

Addressing illness related to the food Canadians eat is an ongoing focus of PHAC activity. In the past year, this included improving Canada’s capacity to respond to food-borne illness outbreaks.

  • One pilot project tested how to better detect clusters of food-borne illness.
  • Improved FoodNet Canada processes enhanced sharing of risk information about food-borne illness.
  • The completed Foodbook report helped expand access to more of the data that enable public health stakeholders to take preventive actions, conduct outbreak investigations, and carry out risk assessments on the food Canadians eat.
Health Promotion

Public health involves promoting healthy behaviours and identifying and addressing health inequities. During the year, PHAC acted on opportunities to support healthier lives at all ages both in terms of physical and mental health.

PHAC FACT

The most popular post on the “Healthy Canadians” website was for Teething Time, which informs parents when to expect their child’s first tooth.

  • The Canadian 24-Hour Movement Behaviour Guidelines for Children and Youth were developed as the world’s first harmonized recommendations for physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and proper sleep.
  • PHAC promoted best practices in healthy childhood development, including “Take it Outside” which focuses on play and discovery-based learning, consistent with Aboriginal teaching.
  • Given an aging population, PHAC supported effective strategies and measures to help seniors lead healthy, active lifestyles including:
  • PHAC promoted positive mental health by:
  • PHAC partnered with community-based organizations to strengthen health outcomes for key populations by:
    • Funding evidence-based interventions for HIV and Hepatitis C to increase knowledge of how the diseases are transmitted and prevented, uptake of prevention behaviors, and access to testing, treatment, and ongoing care among key populations; and
    • Engaging more than 200 community organizations through an online stakeholder engagement exercise to develop funding priorities and objectives for the HIV and Hepatitis C Community Action Fund, an updated funding program with a strategic and integrated approach focused on providing funding to support community-based responses to HIV and Hepatitis C in Canada.
Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention

PHAC helps people across Canada’s health system better understand the factors influencing chronic disease. It supports initiatives that enable identification of key data and best practices in order to reduce the impacts of chronic diseases and injuries on Canadians.

PHAC FACT

Every dollar invested by PHAC and its partners under the Multi-sectoral Partnership Approach to Promote Healthy Living and Prevent Chronic Disease helped Canadians sustain positive behaviour changes, generating a social return of $2.50.

  • PHAC released the second progress report on the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Framework on Healthy Weights highlighting actions underway. It also provides the most recent national data on factors associated with childhood obesity and healthy weights.
  • PHAC funded projects to explore innovative approaches to reduce the risks of developing chronic diseases. This year, several incentive-based programs were funded, including:
    • Carrot Rewards, a digital application that provides loyalty points to Canadians who participate in healthy living activities; and
    • UPnGO, a digital-based workplace program designed to increase steps and reduce sitting time by providing employees with points redeemable for healthy products in an online store when they participate in weekly challenges or achieve personalized goals.
Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2015–16
Main Estimates
2015–16
Planned Spending
2015–16
Total Authorities
Available for Use
2015–16
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2015–16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
297,110,496 297,110,496 305,070,361 297,511,369 400,873
Human Resources (FTEs)
2015–16
Planned
2015–16
Actual
2015–16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
889 867 (22)
Performance Results
Expected Result Performance Indicators TargetsTable note c Actual ResultsTable note d
Diseases in Canada are prevented or mitigated Rates per 100,000 of key infectious diseases (HIV) 6.41 5.8Table note e
Rates per 100,000 of key infectious diseases (Hepatitis B) 9.17 15.2Table note f
Rates per 100,000 of key infectious diseases (Hepatitis C) 28.82 29.68Table note f
Rates per 100,000 of key infectious diseases (Tuberculosis) 3.6 4.4Table note g
Rates per 100,000 of key infectious diseases (E.coli O157) 1.39 1.05Table note h
Rates per 100,000 of key infectious diseases (Salmonella) 19.68 21.85Table note i
Rates per 100,000 of key infectious diseases (Invasive Pneumococcal Disease in children of less than one year old) 28 17.8
Rates per 100,000 of key infectious diseases (Invasive Pneumococcal Disease in children ages one to four years) 20 11.2
Rates per 100,000 of key infectious diseases (Pertussis deaths in the target population of less than or equal to three months of age) 0 2Table note j
Rates per 100,000 of key infectious diseases (Invasive Meningococcal Disease) 0.7 0.49
Rate of key chronic disease risk factors (% of adults aged 20 and over that report being physically active) 50.14Table note k 51.9
Rate of key chronic disease risk factors (% of children and youth aged 5 to 17 who are overweight or obese) 31.5Table note l 31.2

1.3 Program: Health Security

Description

The Health Security Program takes an all hazards approach to the health security of Canada’s population, which provides the Government of Canada with the ability to prepare for and respond to public health events/emergencies. This program seeks to bolster the resiliency of the population and communities, thereby enhancing the ability to cope and respond. To accomplish this, its main methods of intervention include actions taken through collaboration with key jurisdictions and international collaborators. These actions are carried out by fulfilling Canada’s obligations under the International Health Regulations and through the administration and enforcement of pertinent legislation and regulations.

Program Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

During 2015–16, PHAC made progress in delivering these critical health security operations by addressing the following broad priorities, with results and highlights as noted below.

Planning and Response to Public Health Emergencies and Events

PHAC has a lead role in dealing with the public health element of real or potential emergencies as well as major international events taking place in Canada. The past year had a variety of high-profile situations that called on PHAC leadership and specific efforts to protect the health of Canadians.

PHAC FACT

PHAC raised awareness amongst Syrian refugees arriving in Canada about public health issues and protecting against communicable diseases by distributing information sheets to them in English, French, and Arabic.

  • Activation of the Health Portfolio Emergency Operations Centre at PHAC supported the coordinated effort on all health matters related to the arrival of 25,000 Syrian refugees in Canada and the health services needed to support Canada’s hosting of the Pan American and ParaPan American Games.
  • PHAC quarantine officers met all dedicated Syrian refugee flights into Canada and PHAC trained 31 new officers to meet the increased need for quarantine services.
  • In addition to the specific work in areas such as laboratory and field support described previously in this report, PHAC continued the central coordinating role with its federal, provincial and territorial partners to protect Canadians from Ebola that began in 2014–15. It also contributed to the international response to Ebola by mobilizing more than 100 Canadian health officials for service in West Africa.
  • When the Zika virus emerged, PHAC coordinated the Health Portfolio response by providing advice and guidance to Canadians and health care practitioners, enhancing steps to identify affected Canadians, working with partners to ensure necessary laboratory capacity in Canada, and by advancing research activities.
  • PHAC continued to work with international partners on the Zika virus and initiatives such as the North American Plan for Animal and Pandemic Influenza to strengthen North American and global health security.
  • PHAC contributed to global pandemic preparedness activities to enhance response tactics to future pandemic outbreaks, and maintained readiness for deployment of its mobile biological laboratory.
  • Updated response plans were put in place to deal with potential Radiological-Nuclear emergencies and emergencies at First Nations On-Reserve communities.
Enhanced Biosecurity for Canadians
  • On December 1, 2015, the Human Pathogens and Toxins Regulations, along with the remaining sections of the Human Pathogens and Toxins Act, came into force. These will strengthen the safe use of human pathogens and toxins in laboratories across Canada, and reduce risks to Canadians.
  • PHAC reached out to stakeholders to support an understanding of these new requirements under the legislation and regulations and the new tools available to them for information exchange.
Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2015–16
Main Estimates
2015–16
Planned Spending
2015–16
Total Authorities
Available for Use
2015–16
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2015–16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
59,776,240 59,776,240 69,142,817 67,972,376 8,196,136

Actual spending was greater than planned spending primarily due to funding for Ebola Preparedness and Response Initiatives to Protect Canadians at Home and Abroad and funding to Acquire Medical Countermeasures for Smallpox and Anthrax.

Human Resources (FTEs)
2015–16
Planned
2015–16
Actual
2015–16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
300 300 0
Performance Results
Expected Result Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Canada has the partnerships and regulatory frameworks to prevent, prepare for and respond to threats to public health Percent of partnerships with key jurisdictions and international partners in place to prepare for and respond to public health risks and events 100 100
Percent of Government of Canada’s health emergency and regulatory programs implemented in accordance with the Emergency Management Act, the Quarantine Act, the Human Pathogens and Toxins Act and the Human Pathogens Importation Regulations 100 100

Internal Services

Description

Internal services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. Internal services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization, and not those provided to a specific program. The groups of activities are Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Services; Materiel Services; and Acquisition Services.

Program Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

PHAC collaborates with Health Canada in a Shared Services Partnership for many internal services and corporate functions and takes part in government-wide efforts to modernize and transform common services and function. Communications strategies are developed and implemented to raise awareness among Canadians and health system partners about key public health issues.

During 2015–16, PHAC succeeded in achieving its plans for more effective internal services with the following results and highlights:

Shared Services Partnership
  • Planning processes and tools were improved related to human resources, real property, and information technology to increase efficiencies and improve integrated service delivery.
Government-wide Modernization and Transformation Initiatives
  • New performance management tools, guidelines and outreach activities, an assessment of the Performance Management Program, and Canada School of Public Service development programs helped PHAC continue to build a culture of high performance and learning.
  • PHAC representation rates for women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities were above labour market availability, which supports the goal of more diverse and inclusive workplaces.
  • Introduction of standardized and modernized workstations and the adoption of new telecommunications technologies to support an efficient and mobile workplace were part of PHAC’s implementation of government-wide workplace changes.
Communications
  • Innovative communications, such as increased use of social media, provided Canadians with information to support sound decisions to protect their health and safety including information on healthy living, mental health, dementia, immunization, alcohol consumption, Zika virus, Lyme disease, Salmonella, and Listeria.
  • PHAC strengthened its capacity to communicate public health risks to Canadians in a timely and targeted manner on issues such as Zika virus, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, food-borne illness, and measles outbreaks.
Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2015–16
Main Estimates
2015–16
Planned Spending
2015–16
Total Authorities
Available for Use
2015–16
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2015–16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
95,644,087 95,644,087 99,946,859 90,968,166 4,675,921
Human Resources (FTEs)
2015–16
Planned
2015–16
Actual
2015–16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
601 271 (330)

The variance is primarily due to the Shared Services Partnership where FTEs were planned under PHAC but expended under Health Canada.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: