Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis


CHEPA researchers have helped shape Canada’s health system for more than a quarter-century. They continue that tradition today, investigating pressing issues such as the relationship between doctors’ pay and health system costs; ethical concerns related to who gets what care and who has a say in it, and whether evidence supports the health decisions being made.

The centre was founded in 1988 by a group of health economics and health policy analysis pioneers -  Greg Stoddart, Jonathan Lomas, Roberta Labelle, David FeenyGeorge Torrance and Amiram Gafni - to be a multidisciplinary centre with research, teaching and service activities that provide timely and relevant evidence to inform policy-making at all levels of the health-care system.

It continues this tradition today, working at the intersection of the health and social sciences, evaluating how Ontario’s health system is performing and supporting the development of policies to enhance the system’s effectiveness and sustainability. Evidence about what works and what could be improved derives from the study of how well policies achieve their objectives and the consideration of values such as fairness and patient-centredness.

Using the tools of economics, sociology, political science and ethics, CHEPA researchers address issues such as:

  • Explaining and measuring the factors that cause social inequalities in health.
  • Finding the best ways to pay health-care providers and manage human resources to achieve higher quality and better outcomes for the money spent.
  • Researching the best methods for assessing new health technologies and treatments, as well as the social implications of these methods.
  • Assessing the roles of values and ethical considerations in health policy.
  • Using public and community engagement to learn about the health system.
  • Finding ways to support evidence-informed policymaking.

CHEPA’s knowledge exchange program, which uses multiple strategies for communicating and sharing information, ensures the knowledge generated through the work of its members is effectively communicated to health system decision-makers and other stakeholders. Collaboration with those who use the research ensures that CHEPA’s work meets the specific needs of these individuals and groups. Complementary initiatives, such as a rapid-response evidence service and training, enables health system leaders to identify and act on evidence and values in a timely way.

  • CHEPA seminar looks at use of Malawi’s public health system to fight HIV transmission

    Applying health systems research to prevent HIV transmission from mother to child in an impoverished country is the topic of a Dec. 2 seminar by officials from Dignitas International (DI), a Canadian medical humanitarian non-government organization (NGO) that supports the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Malawi in the implementation and scale-up of HIV-related services through the public health system.

    Dignitas medical advisor Dr. Adrienne Chan, top left, an Assistant Professor with the Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Toronto, and Joshua Berman, Knowledge Translation and Policy Manager for Dignitas, will present Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV in Malawi: A Case Study in Health Systems Research and Policy Impact in Low Resource Settings.

    The seminar will be held on TUESDAY Dec. 2 in CRL B119, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend. The seminar will be available remotely for those who are unable to attend.

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  • CHEPA co-founder Jonathan Lomas enshrined in FHS Community of Distinction

    CHEPA co-founder Jonathan Lomas, known as “the father of knowledge translation,” has been inducted into McMaster University’s Faculty of Health Science’s Community of Distinction, the faculty’s highest honour.

    John Lavis, current Associate Director of CHEPA and Director of the McMaster Health Forum, spoke at the induction, describing Lomas in his introductory remarks as a “trailblazer, boundary spanner, innovator and dynamo.” 


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CHEPA Seminar Series

CHEPA sponsors a regular series of seminars presented by invited speakers. For a schedule of future CHEPA seminars, click here.

Experimental economics workshop

The McMaster Experimental Economics Laboratory (McEEL) is hosting a workshop on Behavioural and Experimental Health Economics, co-sponsored by CHEPA, on Feb 20 and 21 2015. The workshop aims to bring together economists who apply behavioural economics and experimental methods in health economic research to present and discuss their research papers. Click here for more information.

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