International Education





Study Health Policy and Management Canada

School of Health Policy and Management

(York University Canada)

The School of Health Policy and Management offers a unique approach to health systems education.  The School focuses on themes that address the organization and management of Canadian and international health care systems, and the concerns of sub-populations within them.  The School boasts an internationally renowned faculty.  Its approach to health policy is analytic, seeking to understand the social, economic and political contexts in which health care and other public policies are developed and implemented.  Incorporating an approach that examines the social and economic factors that determine health, its policystream emphasizes population diversity, the role of communities, and social justice issues as integral considerations in developing a health care model that responds to current challenges.  The school's approach to managementemphasizes coordination among organizations to foster integrated health care models and focuses on health system performance, quality of care, patient safety, and leadership. The health informaticsprogram applies computer and information sciences to quantitative issues and decision needs to supports the delivery and management of health care.  As advances in research continue to evolve rapidly in the health field, it addresses stakeholders needs for current and up-to-date information. 

Our goal is to address organizations needs for candidates prepared to work in health information technology, management and policy areas, as well as providing a foundation for students to pursue graduate studies in these areas.

Bachelor of Health Studies Honours Program

Assesses models of health care and the institutional structures that shape it in Canada and internationally.  The degree is offered in three specializations:

The Health Policy stream incorporates the perspectives of political science, law, economics, sociology and ethics to provide students with a strong theoretical foundation to critically assess health systems.  Includes analysis of such areas as the evolution of Canada's health care system and sub-sectors within it (health system restructuring, midwifery, biotechnology, pharmaceutical policy, mental health policy, home care policy).  It emphasizes comparative approaches to assess current policies and outcomes in Canada and internationally.  Graduates are equipped with analytic frameworks, methods and communication skills, enabling them to effectively contribute to policy research, development and implementation. 

The Health Management stream addresses health care management, organization, and delivery issues, incorporating the private, public and non-governmental sectors.  Structural aspects of the health system are assessed, including the areas of health system integration, occupational health and safety, and health care financial management.  The management stream focuses on the areas of leadership and decision making, health care quality, health system performance measurement and improvement, and patient safety.  It prepares students to work in process management, planning, quality assurance, human resources, and finance in a variety of health related settings.

The Health Informatics stream examines the use of computer technologies, exploring issues related to secure systems (such as patient records), research and the dissemination of information and data, and the expansion of e-health options.  Incorporating the growing eHealth field through Communication Technology, it integrates computer, phone and internet technologies for patient counseling, education and research.

While students develop an in depth concentration in one of the three areas (management, informatics, policy), they receive introductory preparation in all three areas.  Integration and linkages among the three areas is fostered to address current health care challenges.  Students are also equipped with both quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis, enabling them to conduct and assess health related research.  Effective communication skills are emphasized throughout the program. 

Co-op Placement: Gaining Practical Experience

Students gain practical experience by participating in an optional co-op placement in a professional setting such as a community health service, professional association, health consulting agency, governmental or non-governmental agency.  This experience provides students with first-hand involvement in health policy, management or informatics prior to graduation, making them qualified, sought-after health care professionals. 

Careers for Graduates

Graduates of York's BHS are qualified to pursue a variety of exciting and challenging careers.  They can obtain employment in a variety of health related organizations, apply to a professional school, or pursue graduate studies in a health related area.  Professions in the public and private sectors include governmental or non-governmental organizations, social service agencies, institutional and community health settings, international research groups, pharmaceutical and insurance companies, and health professional associations. 

Health Policy major:   Health policy analyst, planner, researcher, health care advocate, health care consultant, health program coordinator, health economics consultant.

Health Management major:  Process management and improvement specialist, human resources/financial management analyst, health administrator/manager, health systems planner/analyst, quality assurance program coordinator.

Health Informatics major:  Health information specialist, systems designer, system integration specialist, electronic patient record analyst, application (data quality analyst)

Our Graduatesare prepared to shape the future of health care with their understanding of:

-    integrated health systems;

-    health care policy (evolution and current issues);

-    critical concepts and priorities for health management;

-    health informatics (and its role in supporting health policy and management);

-    the broad determinants of health;

-    research methods

Graduates of our Bachelor Program will strengthen organizations capacity to respond to and shape the future of health care in a meaningful way.

Research Areas

The SHPM has assembled a renowned team of scholars with expertise in areas of jurisprudence and health policy, medical science, health management, nursing, bio-medical engineering, computer science, health promotion and education. Recognized for their contributions to research, they are widely published and provide policy and management advice nationally and internationally to government and nongovernmental bodies. 

International comparative studies include developing a human rights monitoring system on disability by Chair and Professor Marcia Rioux, whose research also incorporates universal education, literacy and health in developing nations, and the impact of globalization on welfare policy.  Professor Joseph Levy's research addresses comparative analysis of nations perspectives towards health. 

Pharmaceutical policyis an area of concentration for Professors Joel Lexchin and Mary Wiktorowicz.  Their research assesses policies concerning the regulation of pharmaceutical safety and efficacy, product pricing, effect of pharmaceutical company research sponsorship, direct-to-consumer advertising, and effect of globalization on pharmaceutical policy in Canada and internationally. 

Determinants of health is an important research focus for Professor Dennis Raphael, including the effects of income inequality as it relates to health (heart disease, diabetes), and the impact of government decisions on Canadian's health and well-being.

Health care managementis Professor Liane Ginsburg's and Professor Deborah Tregunno's research focus: development and use of measures of health care quality, leadership, performance measurement, patient safety and adoption of research evidence by managers of health care organizations. 

Medical Informatics is Professor Serban Dinca's area of specialization, with an emphasis on developing computer software in the area of preventive cardiology.  Electronic health is another area of research interest for Professor Joseph Levy, whose intent is to facilitate patients and providers access to a wide diversity of health care options. 

Studies in Critical Disability are a focus of Professors Marcia Rioux's and Geoffrey Reaume's research, in the School's MA in Critical Disability Studies Program.  Professor Rioux's research addresses the social and legal construction of inequality, and social justice.  Professor Reaume's research focuses on mad people's history, the psychiatric consumer/survivor movement, and class, labour and disability, and health care ethics.  Mental health policy is an area of concentration for Professor Mary Wiktorowicz, including a five province comparative policy analysis assessing the role of regional models of coordination on mental health service delivery. 




Room: 439 HNES Building

York University, 4700 Keele St., Toronto, Ont., Canada M3J 1P3,
Phone: 416-736-5157
Fax: 416-736-5227






Room: 439 HNES Building

York University, 4700 Keele St., Toronto, Ont., Canada M3J 1P3,
Phone: 416-736-5157
Fax: 416-736-5227




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