Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly 11(4) September 2008 : 30-36.doi:10.12927/hcq.2008.20089

Health Human Resources and Public-Private Partnerships: Understanding Their Contributions to Canada's Transforming Healthcare Environment

Joseph A. de Mora


For three days in September 2007, chief executive officers (CEOs) from health systems and organizations across Canada gathered in Banff, Alberta, for the inaugural Healthcare CEO Leadership Summit. We came together to consider and debate two of the most pressing issues facing the transformation of our country's healthcare environment: health human resources (HHR) and public-private partnerships (P3s). (This gathering, from September 14 to 16, was made possible by an unrestricted educational grant from Hoffmann-La Roche Limited. HHR and P3s were selected as topics based on an extensive needs assessment carried out among participants prior to the meeting.)

Frank McKenna, the former premier of New Brunswick and former ambassador to the United States, gave the plenary address at the summit. Tom Closson, the past president and CEO of Toronto's University Health Network, delivered a keynote lecture on HHR, while the president and CEO of Hoffman-La Roche Limited, Ronnie Miller, shared his insights on P3s. By listening to presentations from these experts, brainstorming in breakout sessions and openly discussing the topics as a group, summit participants arrived at several conclusions regarding the main challenges and opportunities associated with HHR and P3s. Fundamentally, we all agreed that successfully managing HHR and P3s is critical for healthcare organizations that are focused on serving patients better.

In this article, I first set out some of the main elements that characterize Canada's transforming healthcare environment and that largely form the raison d'être for new approaches to HHR and for the emergence of P3s. I then present core findings that emerged from our meeting in Banff and add my views based on my own experience as president and CEO of Kingston General Hospital. Where appropriate, I also briefly present recent innovations that might serve as examples of possible routes forward.



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