CHEPA researchers have helped shape Canada’s health system for more than a quarter-century. They continue that tradition today, investigating pressing issues such as the relationship between doctors’ pay and health system costs; ethical concerns related to who gets what care and who has a say in it, and whether evidence supports the health decisions being made.
The centre was founded in 1988 by a group of health economics and health policy analysis pioneers - Greg Stoddart, Jonathan Lomas, Roberta Labelle, David Feeny, George Torrance and Amiram Gafni - to be a multidisciplinary centre with research, teaching and service activities that provide timely and relevant evidence to inform policy-making at all levels of the health-care system.
It continues this tradition today, working at the intersection of the health and social sciences, evaluating how Ontario’s health system is performing and supporting the development of policies to enhance the system’s effectiveness and sustainability. Evidence about what works and what could be improved derives from the study of how well policies achieve their objectives and the consideration of values such as fairness and patient-centredness.
Using the tools of economics, sociology, political science and ethics, CHEPA researchers address issues such as:
- Explaining and measuring the factors that cause social inequalities in health.
- Finding the best ways to pay health-care providers and manage human resources to achieve higher quality and better outcomes for the money spent.
- Researching the best methods for assessing new health technologies and treatments, as well as the social implications of these methods.
- Assessing the roles of values and ethical considerations in health policy.
- Using public and community engagement to learn about the health system.
- Finding ways to support evidence-informed policymaking.
CHEPA’s knowledge exchange program, which uses multiple strategies for communicating and sharing information, ensures the knowledge generated through the work of its members is effectively communicated to health system decision-makers and other stakeholders. Collaboration with those who use the research ensures that CHEPA’s work meets the specific needs of these individuals and groups. Complementary initiatives, such as a rapid-response evidence service and training, enables health system leaders to identify and act on evidence and values in a timely way.