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TRN193H: Canadian Health Policy

TRN193H: Canadian Health Policy: Past, Present and Future

Course Description

This is a health systems course. It deals with illness care, individual health, and health insurance. It will take a comparative and historical approach. We will look at the genesis of Canadian healthcare, our benefits and those other countries provide (e.g., pharmacare, dental care). We will look at indirect contributors like childcare and basic income. We will examine the public-private debate. We will also take some novel approaches. One is that the university has an expanded role in the 21st century, one that involves public outreach, a role that includes healthcare. Recent academic literature on healthcare notes that it is nation-building. We will look at why. We will examine some cutting-edge ideas, like integrated care, the learning health system, the concept of customer-owners. We will explore whether our healthcare system needs to be anchored by ‘institutions of excellence’ and identify these.

Evaluation includes an assessment of research and writing skills in three analyses of issues in Canadian health. Also included, seminar engagement in a dialogue for solutions based on information presented in slides and readings.

2023-2024 Course Instructor

Leslie Boehm


Les Boehm has graduate degrees from the U of T in history as well as health administration. He spent a career at the executive level in the administration of teaching hospitals and large research institutes. He was also seconded to the Ministry of Health. During his entire career he taught at the graduate level in the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME) at U of T.

While at Toronto General Hospital he founded two companies with an international footprint in continuing health education. At Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre he founded a venture capital company in health. He has served on the boards of a number of start-up companies, venture capital funds, and volunteer organizations.

While at Sunnybrook he proposed an idea to marry basic and applied research to the Canadian subsidiary of the French multinational, Sanofi, which saw them locate the world headquarters of the cancer vaccine project at Sunnybrook.

He has been published in the Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, and others. He co-founded a monthly magazine, Health Research and Innovation. He is the author of Toward the Health of a Nation.

His research interests are in the areas of health policy, the history of Canadian healthcare, public enterprise, and the development and application of health research.

Leslie Boehm
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