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Department of Health (Canada)

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Title: Department of Health (Canada)  
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Department of Health (Canada)

Santé Canada
Department of the Government of Canada
File:Health Canada logo.gif
Minister Rona Ambrose
Established 1996
Responsibilities Health
Employees 12,000[1]

Health Canada (French: Santé Canada) is the department of the government of Canada with responsibility for national public health.

The current Minister of Health is Rona Ambrose, a Conservative Member of Parliament appointed to the position by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Branches, regions and agencies

Health Canada has the following branches, regions and agencies:[2]

Ministers and officers


  • Audit & Accountability Bureau
  • Chief Financial Officer Branch
  • Corporate Services Branch
  • First Nations & Inuit Health Branch
  • Healthy Environments & Consumer Safety Branch
  • Health Products & Food Branch
  • Public Affairs, Consultation and Communications Branch
  • Regions and Programs Branch
  • Strategic Policy Branch
  • Departmental Secretariat
  • Legal Services
  • Pest Management Regulatory Agency (operates as a branch)





  • Laboratory Centre for Disease Control
  • Sir Frederick G Banting Research Centre

Compliance and Enforcement

The Compliance and Enforcement Directorate supports Health Canada's mission to help Canadians maintain and improve their health by enforcing the laws and regulations related to the production, distribution, importation, sale and/or use of consumer products, tobacco, pest control products, drugs, biologics, medical devices and natural health products.

The Directorate conducts inspections and investigations to ensure products are safe, of good quality, and properly labelled and distributed, in order to better protect Canadians from potentially harmful products and consumables.

Compliance and Enforcement Directorate is divided into six distinct programs:

  • Canada Vigilance Program
  • Controlled Substances Program
  • Inspectorate Program
  • Pesticide Control Program
  • Product Safety Program
  • Tobacco Control Program


Related legislation

Acts for which Health Canada has Total or Partial Responsibility[7]

Acts for which Health Canada is Involved or has a Special Interest


An editorial published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal has called for Health Canada to more strictly regulate natural health products. The editorial cited weaknesses in current legislation that allow natural health products to make baseless health claims, to neglect side-effects research prior to products reaching market, and to be sold without being evaluated by Health Canada.[8]

On Sept 12 a report on CBC television questioned the safety of drugs sold in North America .[9] The Brandon Sun reported that Health Canada is secretive about inspections about drugs manufactured overseas, leaving the public unsure about the safety of these drugs. [10]

See also


External links

  • Health Canada
  • YouTube
  • Health Canada's MedEffect Adverse Reaction Database
  • section
  • Health Canada Population Based Case Study
  • Health Canada Guidances
  • Analysis: New, Final Health Canada eCTD Guidance for Industry
  • Update from the Regulators: Health Canada
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