Models of Care toolkit highlights innovations and best practices in Canadian cancer care

How is Canada’s cancer care system functioning? What innovations are underway and how can health system leaders, cancer agencies and programs build on them? Are people with cancer able to access care tailored to their specific needs?


Cancer Care Networks Model


These are some of the questions addressed by the Partnership’s new Models of Care toolkit, a practical, solutions-focused resource on how cancer care can be designed and delivered in Canada. With insights touching on both system-level changes to individual outcomes, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the toolkit provides detailed information on innovative, evidence-informed models of care, with examples of best practices used in Canada and around the world.

A model of care is defined as the way health services are designed and delivered for a person as they progress through the stages of a condition (e.g., cancer).

Created in partnership with the Canadian Association of Provincial Cancer Agencies (CAPCA), and in collaboration with a wide range of partners, advisors and experts, including cancer patients and their support network, the toolkit is a practical resource developed by and for policy and program developers and health system leaders to enhance the delivery of cancer care in their regions and communities.

The Models of Care toolkit is a timely and important resource, showing not only what’s happening in cancer care right now, but also what’s possible.

The toolkit advances key priorities of the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control, which calls for system-level changes to improve services that are adapted to the specific needs of different populations, practical research to gain a better understanding of barriers and enablers for change, and education and supports to enable cancer care providers to deliver culturally appropriate care to all participants.

Dr. Craig Earle, CEO of the Partnership

The impact of the pandemic on Canada’s cancer care system greatly informed the development of the toolkit. “While work on the toolkit began before COVID-19, the need for system change and new models of care has grown even more critical with pandemic-related pressures on health care,” says Dr. Earle. “This toolkit will help guide provinces and territories as they transition from pandemic response to pandemic recovery.”

The Partnership’s recently released report, Road to recovery: Cancer in the COVID-19 era, highlights the need for new models of care as a key area of action.

To promote and support the implementation of these actions for health system leaders, the Partnership will be providing $13 million in funding for new models of care projects, working closely with partners to support the scale and spread of best practices across Canada. Both the toolkit and the funding are grounded in a commitment to enhancing equity in access, experience and outcomes for all people in Canada. First Nations-, Inuit- and Métis-led work will be embedded in new models of care through co-design and collaboration.

The burden of cancer is increasing, and we are always looking for ways to provide great cancer care for patients and their families.

Canada’s cancer system is a small, tight-knit community, and it is tremendously valuable to look at what other jurisdictions are doing well and find ways to adopt their best practices. This will allow Canada to remain at the forefront of cancer service delivery.

Deb Bulych, interim President and CEO of Saskatchewan Cancer Agency, and chair of the Partnership’s Models of Care Working Group