Minister of Health
Ministre de la Santé
Mark Holland
since July 26, 2023
Health Canada
StyleThe Honourable
Member of
Reports to
AppointerMonarch (represented by the governor general);[3]
on the advice of the prime minister[4]
Term lengthAt His Majesty's pleasure
Inaugural holderDavid Dingwall
FormationJuly 12, 1996
SalaryCA$269,800 (2019)[5]

The minister of health (French: ministre de la santé) is the minister of the Crown in the Canadian Cabinet who is responsible for overseeing health-focused government agencies including Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, as well as enforcing the Canada Health Act, the law governing Canada's universal health care system.

The current minister is Mark Holland.[6]

The minister is responsible for the federal government's Health Portfolio, which comprises:[7]

As of 2023, the Health Portfolio consists of approximately 12,000 full-time equivalent employees and an annual budget of over $3.8 billion.[7]


The first Department of Health in Canada was established in 1919, and unlike most other departments, had no designated minister.[8] The president of the Privy Council was the first designated to manage the department,[9] which was followed by the minister of immigration and colonization in 1921 under Arthur Meighen,[10] then the minister of soldiers' civil re-establishment later that year under William Lyon Mackenzie King.[11] The minister of soldiers' civil re-establishment managed the Department of Health through the next Meighen[12] and King[13] governments.

In 1928, the Department of Health and minister of soldiers' civil re-establishment were abolished and replaced with the Department and minister of pensions and national health.[14] In 1944, the position was again split into two roles, with the war veteran portfolio going to the minister of veterans affairs,[15] and the rest of the portfolio moving to the minister of national health and welfare.[16]

The role of minister of national health and welfare was abolished in 1996, and replaced with the current minister of health. Jane Philpott was the first medical doctor to hold the post.[17]

List of ministers


  Liberal Party of Canada
  Conservative Party of Canada
No. Portrait Name Term of office Political party Ministry
1 David Dingwall July 12, 1996 June 10, 1997 Liberal 26 (Chrétien)
2 Allan Rock June 11, 1997 January 14, 2002 Liberal
3 Anne McLellan January 15, 2002 December 11, 2003 Liberal
4 Pierre Pettigrew December 12, 2003 July 19, 2004 Liberal 27 (Martin)
5 Ujjal Dosanjh July 20, 2004 February 5, 2006 Liberal
6 Tony Clement February 6, 2006 October 29, 2008 Conservative 28 (Harper)
7 Leona Aglukkaq October 30, 2008 July 15, 2013 Conservative
8 Rona Ambrose July 15, 2013 November 4, 2015 Conservative
9 Jane Philpott November 4, 2015 August 28, 2017 Liberal 29 (J. Trudeau)
10 Ginette Petitpas Taylor August 28, 2017 November 20, 2019 Liberal
11 Patty Hajdu November 20, 2019 October 26, 2021 Liberal
12 Jean-Yves Duclos October 26, 2021 July 26, 2023 Liberal
13 Mark Holland[18] July 26, 2023 Incumbent Liberal

Health Portfolio

The Health Portfolio is an institution of several governmental departments that supports the Minister of Health's responsibility of maintaining and improving the health of Canadians.[7]

Along with Health Canada, the portfolio consists of: the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Patented Medicine Prices Review Board. and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

As of 2023, the Health Portfolio consists of approximately 12,000 full-time equivalent employees and an annual budget of over $3.8 billion.[7]

Departmental hierarchies

The hierarchy of portfolio organizations are listed below.[7]

Health Canada
  • Minister of Health
    • Deputy Minister
      • Chief Medical Advisor
      • Director General, Office of Audit and Evaluation
        • Departmental Audit Committee
        • Internal Audit and Special Examinations
        • Program Evaluation Division
        • Performance Measurement Planning and Integration
        • Practice Management
      • Health Products and Food Branch
        • Director General, Biologics & Genetic Therapies Directorate
        • Director General, Food Directorate
          • Bureau of Chemical Safety
          • Bureau of Nutritional Sciences
          • Bureau of Microbial Hazards
          • Bureau of Policy Intergovernmental & International Affairs
          • Bureau of Food Surveillance & Science Integration
          • Bureau of Business Systems & Operations
        • Director General, Marketed Health Products Directorate
          • Bureau of Strategic Engagement and Integrated Management Services
          • Health Products Surveillance and Epidemiology Bureau
          • Marketed Biologicals, Biotechnology and Natural Health Products Bureau
          • Marketed Pharmaceuticals Bureau
          • Office of Policy, Risk Advisory, & Advertising
        • Director General, Medical Devices Directorate
          • Bureau of Licensing Services
          • Bureau of Investigation Testing Authorization, Special Access Program & Post-Market Surveillance
          • Bureau of Evaluation
          • Bureau of Planning & Operations
          • Bureau of Policy & International Programs
        • Director General, Natural & Non-prescription Health Products Directorate
          • Bureau of Licensing Services & Systems
          • Bureau of Product Review & Assessment
          • Bureau of Strategic Planning & Business Services
          • Bureau of Program Policy, Risk Management & Stakeholder Engagement
          • Bureau of Consumer Health Product Modernization
        • Director General, Office of Nutrition Policy & Promotion
        • Director General, Policy, Planning & International Affairs Directorate
          • Strategic Horizontal Policy Division
          • Office of Legislative and Regulatory Modernization
        • Director General, Resource Management & Operations Directorate
          • Strategic Planning and Accountability Division
          • Operational Management and Scientific Learning Division
          • Transformation and Business Informatics Division
          • Governance and Internal Communications Division
          • Office of Submissions and Intellectual Property
        • Director General, Therapeutic Products Directorate
          • Bureau of Cardiology, Allergy & Neurological Sciences
          • Bureau of Gastroenterology, Infection and Viral Diseases
          • Bureau of Metabolism, Oncology and Reproductive Sciences
          • Bureau of Pharmaceutical Sciences
          • Bureau of Policy, Science and International Programs
          • Bureau of Medical Sciences
          • Office of Planning, Performance and Review Services
          • Office of Clinical Trials
        • Director General, Veterinary Drugs Directorate
          • Human Safety Division
          • Manufacturing and Chemical Evaluation Division
          • Clinical Evaluation Division
          • Submission and Knowledge Management Division
          • Policy, Planning and International Affairs Division
      • Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch
        • Director General, Consumer Product Safety Directorate
          • Director, Risk Assessment Bureau
          • Director, Risk Management Bureau
          • Director, Program Development Bureau
        • Environmental and Radiation Health Sciences Directorate
          • Office of Management Services
          • Science Secretariat
          • Director, Environmental Health Science & Research Bureau, Chemicals Surveillance Bureau
          • Director, Radiation Protection Bureau
          • Director, Consumer & Clinical Radiation Protection Bureau
        • Director General, Policy Planning and Integration Directorate
        • Director General, Safe Environments Directorate
      • Opioid Response Team
        • Controlled Substances Directorate
        • Opioid Response Team Directorate
    • Assistant Deputy Minister
      • Regulatory Operations and Enforcement Branch
        • Cannabis Directorate
        • Laboratories Directorate
        • Planning and Operations Directorate
        • Health Product Compliance Directorate
        • Policy and Regulatory Strategies Directorate
        • Medical Devices and Clinical Compliance Directorate
        • Consumer Product Safety, Tobacco and Pesticides Directorate
        • Controlled Substances and Environmental Health Directorate
      • Communications & Public Affairs Branch
        • Ethics & Internal Ombudsman Services
        • Marketing and Communications Services Directorate
        • Planning & Operations Division
        • Public Affairs & Strategic Communications Directorate
        • Stakeholder Relations & Consultation Directorate
      • Pest Management Regulatory Agency
      • Strategic Policy Branch
      • Controlled Substances and Cannabis Branch
      • Corporate Services Branch
      • Departmental Secretariat
    • Executive Director & Senior General Counsel, Legal Services
    • Chief Financial Officer Branch
      • Departmental Performance Measurement & Evaluation Directorate
      • Departmental Resource Management Directorate
      • Financial Operations Directorate
        • Exec. Director, Financial Management
        • Accounting Operations & Systems
        • Financial Services Division, First Nations & Inuit Health Branch
        • Public Accounts & Policy
      • Internal Control Division
      • Materiel & Assets Management Directorate
      • Planning & Corporate Management Practices Directorate
Canadian Food Inspection Agency [19]
  • President of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
      • Vice-President, Operations
      • Assoc. Vice-President, Operations
      • Vice-President, Science
        • Chief Veterinary Officer
        • Chief Science Operating Officer
      • Vice-President, Policy & Programs
        • Chief Food Safety Officer (Exec. Director, Food Safety & Consumer Protection Division)
        • Chief Plant Health Officer (Exec. Director, Plant Health & Biosecurity Directorate)
        • VP, Innovation, Business & Service Development
          • Chief Information Officer
        • VP, Communications & Public Affairs
        • VP, Human Resources
        • VP, Corporate Management
          • Chief Financial Officer
          • Assistant Deputy Minister, International Affairs Branch
          • Chief, Audit & Evaluation
          • Chief Redress Officer, Integrity and Redress Secretariat
          • Exec. Director, Legal Services
    • Executive Vice President
    • Chief of Staff
    Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
    • President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research
      • Executive Vice-President
        • Assoc. VP, Research, Knowledge Translation & Ethics
        • Assoc. VP, Governance & External Relations
        • Assoc. VP, Corporate Services
      • VP, Research Programs
        • Assoc. VP, Research Programs – Strategy
      • Science Council (chaired by the President)
      • Governing Council (President is an ex officio member of all Standing Committees)
        • Chair
        • Vice Chair
          • Executive Committee
          • Governance and Nominating Committee
          • Standing Committee on Ethics
          • Standing Committee on Finance
          • CIHR Audit Committee
          • Stem Cell Oversight Committee

    CIHR Institutes

      • Scientific Director, Institute of Aging
      • Scientific Director, Institute of Cancer Research
      • Scientific Director, Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health
      • Scientific Director, Institute of Gender and Health
      • Scientific Director, Institute of Genetics
      • Scientific Director, Institute of Health Services and Policy Research
      • Scientific Director, Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health
      • Scientific Director, Institute of Indigenous Peoples' Health
      • Scientific Director, Institute of Infection and Immunity
      • Scientific Director, Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis
      • Scientific Director, Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction
      • Scientific Director, Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes
      • Scientific Director, Institute of Population and Public Health
    Patented Medicine Prices Review Board
  • Chairperson
    • Members
    • Vice Chairperson
    • Executive Director
      • General Counsel
      • Director Board Secretariat
      • Director, Policy and Economic Analysis
      • Director, Regulatory Affairs and Outreach
      • Director, Corporate Services

    The Public Health Agency of Canada's (PHAC) senior leadership includes the Minister of Health, Associate Minister of Health, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Chief Public Health Officer, President of PHAC, and the Executive Vice-President of PHAC.

    See also


    1. ^ "The Canadian Parliamentary system - Our Procedure - House of Commons". Retrieved 2020-04-20.
    2. ^ "Review of the Responsibilities and Accountabilities of Ministers and Senior Officials" (PDF).
    3. ^ "Constitutional Duties". The Governor General of Canada. Retrieved 2020-04-20.
    4. ^ "House of Commons Procedure and Practice - 1. Parliamentary Institutions - Canadian Parliamentary Institutions". Retrieved 2020-04-20.
    5. ^ "Indemnities, Salaries and Allowances". Library of Parliament. April 11, 2018. Archived from the original on June 1, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
    6. ^ Government of Canada (October 26, 2021). "Cabinet". Government of Canada. Retrieved October 26, 2021.
    7. ^ a b c d e "Health Portfolio." Health Canada. Government of Canada. Retrieved 2023-04-14.
    8. ^ The Department of Health Act, S.C. 1919, c. 24
    9. ^ "Tenth Ministry - The Ministries - Guide to Canadian Ministries since Confederation". Privy Council Office.
    10. ^ "Eleventh Ministry - The Ministries - Guide to Canadian Ministries since Confederation". Privy Council Office.
    11. ^ "Twelfth Ministry - The Ministries - Guide to Canadian Ministries since Confederation". Privy Council Office.
    12. ^ "Thirteenth Ministry - The Ministries - Guide to Canadian Ministries since Confederation". Privy Council Office.
    13. ^ "Fourteenth Ministry - The Ministries - Guide to Canadian Ministries since Confederation". Privy Council Office.
    14. ^ The Department of Pensions and National Health Act, S.C. 1928, c. 39
    15. ^ The Department of Veterans Affairs Act, S.C. 1944-1945, c. 19
    16. ^ The Department of National Health and Welfare Act, S.C. 1944-1945, c. 22
    17. ^ "Jane Philpott, first MD to be named health minister, on mission to help poor". National Post. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
    18. ^ "Ajax MP Mark Holland becomes new federal health minister during Trudeau cabinet shuffle".
    19. ^ "Organizational Structure." Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Government of Canada (2019). Retrieved 30 April 2020.