Canadian Child & Youth Health Indicators Program

The Canadian public and policy-makers alike have recognized the need to address gaps, inequities and the very sustainability of the Canadian healthcare system. Several large scale commissions reviewed the state of healthcare in Canada, consulted with the public and key stakeholders and have presented their recommendations (Kirby, 2001, 2004; Romanow, 2002). A common theme has emerged – the need for indicators to provide accurate assessments of the state of the nation’s health, to evaluate the impact of policy, service and other interventions and to address the critical issue of accountability.

The Canadian Child & Youth Health Coalition (CCYHC), of which CAPHC is a member organization, launched the Indicator Program in 2004: “To identify existing indicators and develop new indicators that will be used to monitor and evaluate the health of, and the health services provided to, infants, children, youth and their families. The aim is to improve services and, thereby, the health and wellbeing of infants, children, youth and their families”.

Six expert panels were created, harnessing the expertise of over 80 professionals from coast-to-coast:Patient Safety, Injury Prevention/Trauma, Mental Health, Primary Care, Chronic Conditions andEfficiency. Borrowing from the CIHI / Statistics Canada Indicator Framework, each Panel identified key questions that needed to be addressed to advance the health and healthcare of Canadian infants, children and youth, reviewed the literature for existing indicators and recommended the development of new indicators with a focus on future research. Potential partners and funding sources were also identified.

A Steering Committee was then created, comprised of the co-chairs of the six Expert Panels and key partner organizations - the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation (CCHSA) and the Public Health Agency of Canada. With input from an expert consultation community of over 100 health researchers, practitioners, administrators, and decision-makers a “Strategic Pathways” plan was developed to transform the Expert Panels’ visions and recommendations into concrete strategies that could yield both immediate successes and long term impact.

More Information

For more information about the National Child & Youth Health Indicators Program, please visit:

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