History of Interprofessional Education in Canada

Over the past fifty years, there have been many significant developments in making IPE a priority throughout Canada. Below are some of the developmental highlights, but is by no means an exhaustive list.

  • 1969 – Szasz’s paper, Interprofessional Education in the Health Sciences: A project conducted at the University of British Columbia, published in the Milbank Quarterly identifies IPE as a solution to the challenges experienced by the health care system.
  • 1986 – WHO presents the Ottawa charter at the first International Conference on Health Promotion, promoting IPE as a means to increase access to health care.
  • 1988 – UBC Office of the Coordinator of Health Sciences (OCHS) pilots the first annual Health Care Team Challenge where students from different disciplines work through a case together in front of a live audience.
  • 1992 – First IPE course in Canada is offered at the University of Alberta.
  • 1997 – First All Together Better Health (ATBH) conference held in London to promote IPE.
  • 1999 – Memorial University Center for Collaborative Health Professional Education is established.
  • 2001 –John Gilbert founds the UBC College of Health Disciplines (CHD) which is developed from the pre-existing OCHS.
  • 2002 – Romanow Report is responsible for pushing Health Canada’s agenda towards IPE, stating:

“. . . in view of . . . changing trends, corresponding changes must be made in the way health care providers are educated and trained. If health care providers are expected to work together and share expertise in a team environment, it makes sense that their education and training should prepare them for this type of working arrangement.”

  • 2003 – First Ministers’ Accord of Health Care Renewal

Identifies IPC as the key to health care renewal;

Establishes the Health Council of Canada;

Establishes National Expert Committee on Interprofessional Education for Collaborative, Patient-Centered Practice (IECPCP);

Creates $16 billion Health Reform fund to support IPE/IPC initiatives

  • 2003 – IECPCP National Expert Committee pledges $30 million over 5 years to support education projects, a comprehensive literature review, and environmental scan.
  • 2004 – ATBC Conference becomes a biennial event attracting 700 delegates from around the world to Vancouver, London, Stockholm, Sydney, Kobe, and Pittsburgh.
  • 2005 – National Health Sciences Students’ Association (NaHSSA) founded at UBC now has 20 local chapters throughout Canada.
  • 2005 – McGill Educational Initiative on IPC is established.
  • 2006 – University of Toronto Centre for IPE is established.
  • 2006 – Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative (CIHC) is established as a national hub for IPE/IPC.
  • 2006 – HealthForceOntario (HFO) is established on the basis of emphasizing IPC.
  • 2006 – Ontario’s Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) and Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) pledge annual financial support to Ontario’s six Academic Health Sciences Centers (AHSCs): McMaster University, Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Queens University, University of Ottawa, University of Toronto, and University of Western Ontario.
  • 2007 – Ontario’s Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council makes several recommendations to enable interprofessional collaborative patient-centered care.
  • 2007 – First biennial Collaborating Across Borders (CAB) conference held in Minneapolis to link Canada and the United States on IPE and IPC.
  • 2008 – BC Health Professions Regulatory Reform Act requires each regulatory college to promote and enhance IPC.
  • 2009 – Ontario’s Regulated Health Professions Statue Law Amendment Act embeds IPE/IPC in health college quality-assurance programs.
  • 2010 – Prince Edward Island’s Health Sector Council publishes a report, Interprofessional Care: A Model of Collaborative Practice, promoting IPC.

“Interprofessional care, a collaborative, team-based approach to care is one such strategy and has proven to be an enabler for improving patient care and meeting the demands that health systems face.”