The Richard Ivey School of Business

The Richard Ivey School of Business

April 27, 2007 15:02 ET

Managing Canada's Healthcare System

Attention: Education Editor, Health/Medical Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO, MEDIA RELEASE--(CCNMatthews - April 27, 2007) - The health sector is a dominant industry in Canada and expenditures continue to climb. In 2005/06 Canada spent more than $90 billion on health care, equal to about 10% of the country's gross domestic product.

Managing this industry is the focus of the Health Sector MBA developed jointly by the Richard Ivey School of Business and the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at The University of Western Ontario, to bring a business focus to practicing health professionals.

At the program's formal launch, on May 1 at Ivey's Toronto campus, Senator Michael Kirby and Dr. Alan Hudson, two leading authorities in the health sector, will discuss problems and outline some possible solutions.

Heading the Mental Health Commission, Senator Michael Kirby is a leading advocate for mental health reform in Canada. The Commission is focused on developing a strategy for Canada on mental health. Despite the fact that depression is the fastest growing disability in the Canadian labour force, representing 75% of long-term and about 40% of short-term disabilities, Canada is the only G-8 country without a national mental health strategy. The economic costs of mental illness exceed $35 billion a year in terms of lost industrial production.

Dr. Alan Hudson has been charged with reducing waiting times for essential health services in Ontario. The neurosurgeon and former chief executive of Toronto's University Health Network was appointed by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty in September 2004 to reduce the time from diagnosis to final treatment. The government's Wait Times Strategy focuses on nine procedures in five key areas: cancer surgery, cardiac procedures, hip and knee joint replacements, cataract surgery and MRI/CT scans.

Managing the health sector, whether it be a hospital, a doctor's office, or pharmaceutical company is no easy task, and with recent challenges such as SARS, an aging population, and longer wait times, managing the healthcare needs of Canadians will remain a top priority. It is critical that the health sector have managers who possess the leadership capabilities and business skills to drive change.

"The Canadian health sector requires leaders who possess a unique combination of scientific, managerial and entrepreneurial skills. The MBA Health Sector Stream is training a new generation of healthcare leaders in our country. They are learning the nuances and complexities of managing within Canada's unique healthcare system, so they can help shape it and manage it well into the future," said Dr. Kellie Leitch, co-Director, Ivey Health Sector Stream, and Chief, Division of Paediatric Surgery, Western/CHWO.

Students enrolled in the Health Sector MBA program are from a variety of disciplines - including medical, scientific, PhD and pharmaceutical backgrounds.

Mira Ray is a cancer researcher and one of the students in the program. "I believe that the Health Sector Stream at Ivey will provide me with the necessary background to mediate between the scientific research and business worlds. Currently, there is a lack of communication between the two, which has a negative impact on the effective translation of high quality heath science research into clinical options. My goal with the health sector program is to bridge the gap between science and business to develop innovative therapeutic and diagnostic modalities."

What: Launch of Ivey MBA Health Sector
Where: ING Leadership Centre, The Exchange Tower
130 King St. West (corner of King & York)
When: May 1st, 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.


For more information please contact:
Marisa Kanas, Richard Ivey School of Business 519-850-2536,

Mary Weil, Richard Ivey School of Business 416-203-0664,

Contact Information

  • Marisa Kanas, Communications Specialist, The Richard Ivey School of Business
    Primary Phone: 519-850-2536