This Request for Proposal (RFP) outlines a project that will facilitate the development of a policy position for HEAL with respect to the possible roles of the federal government in health and health care as a lead up to the expiration of the 2004 Health Accord and First Minister discussions concerning a potential successor agreement.

What is HEAL?

HEAL is a coalition of national organizations dedicated to protecting and strengthening Canada's health system.  Its 38 member organizations (see Appendix A for complete list) represent more than half a million providers and consumers of health care.  HEAL is committed to working collaboratively with governments and others to ensure the health system meets the changing needs of Canadians.  Appendix B contains a brief history of HEAL. Appendices C-E contains HEAL’s mandate, guiding principles for health and the health system, and current policy positions.


Over the past year, HEAL has engaged in a strategic planning process to determine the specific issue areas on which it should focus.  One issue – which has been part of the mandate, history and success of HEAL – is to clearly articulate the role of the federal government when it comes to health and health care.

While this has been articulated by HEAL in relation to a number of specific health policy issues (e.g., fiscal federalism, health human resources, Agreement on Internal Trade), there is no touchstone background policy document that defines, clearly, and  in a comprehensive manner, the range of health and health care policy issues and objectives in relation to the mandate of the federal government.

With the 2004 First Ministers’ Accord in place for a ten-year period, public discourse on the role of the federal government in health and health care has been minimal.  Now that there is a growing public focus on the expiration of the 2004 First Ministers’ Accord and its possible successor agreement, there is an increasing recognition that it is time to consider what may come in its place.

The proposal background document would assist HEAL formulate its position and advocacy strategy on a future health accord, and as it relates to the role of the federal government in health and health care.

The Challenge

Understanding that the beginnings of a “national conversation” around the renewal of the 2004 First Ministers Accord on Health Care – which expires in March 2014 – are underway, the challenge for HEAL is to develop a position statement and/or policy(ies) that contribute to the shaping of a public discourse on the future of health and health care in Canada.

More specifically, the focus of this RFP is to develop a document that explains both the actual and potential role of the federal government in relation to the provinces and territories as it applies to health and health care, and focuses on several related policy questions, such as:

  1. In which areas could the federal government play a leadership role when it comes to the health and health care of Canadians (e.g., First Nations, public health, food safety, regulatory approval processes, national standards, health research, leadership development, tax policy)?
  1. In which areas, and through which instruments, could the federal government play a collaborative role with the provinces and territories to meet the health and health care needs of Canadians and improve system performance (e.g., through the Canada Health Transfer; introduce issue-specific, time-limited, strategically targeted funding envelopes – such as a access to a range of/specific services reflecting consumer demand and/or the needs of the population, facilitate pan-Canadian dialogue on specific policy issues)?, and
  1. In which areas could the federal government follow the lead of others in meeting the health and health care needs of Canadians (e.g., direct delivery of health services, the education of health professionals, and accreditation of foreign-trained health professionals, health human resource planning)?
  1. Are there other policy issues, structures and/or mechanisms, or objectives that should be identified that impact on the federal role in health and health care (e.g., social determinants of health, the Canada Social Transfer)?

In each area, where appropriate, specific policy areas for the federal government and the rationale must be identified in addition to specific mechanisms and their intended policy objectives proposed.  As well, there should be discussion focused on the principle of accountability and how it could be addressed, and how overall system performance could be enhanced.


HEAL is looking for an applied (rather than theoretical) analytical document that goes beyond a descriptive presentation of the constitutional role of the federal government vis-à-vis the provinces and territories.

In this regard, the background of those individuals (i.e., both solo and team applicants) who will be submitting an RFP is crucial.  Preference will be given to those individuals who have a demonstrated combination of professional experience in federal, provincial and territorial government relations/discussions, and applied health policy experience at senior levels of government, and within the not-for-profit sector.

Approach and Methods

The author(s) will work closely with a sub-Committee of HEAL in terms of identifying the scope of the work and key milestones.  The principle audience for the report is HEAL.  The public and the federal, provincial & territorial governments are the secondary audiences of the report.

In undertaking this work, consideration should also be given to the balance between a literature review and the use of key informant interviews – of which includes HEAL members.

Project Deliverables – Budget and Timeframe

The total budget for the work is not to exceed $25,000.  This total budget includes all professional fees and out-of-pocket expenses and GST/HST.

A preliminary draft of the document should be delivered to HEAL for its review and comment no later than Friday, May 20, 2011.  The final draft is to be submitted to HEAL prior to its Summer meeting (i.e., late June 2011).

The significant deliverables of the work include a report(s) and presentation, provided both electronically and in print that would include:

  1. A written analysis and discussion of the role of the federal government in health and health care, and in relation to the provinces and territories.
  2. A discussion of the literature and/or past works or sources that were used to inform the deliverables, as well as identification of the gaps and areas for future development/discussion.
  3. The development of a Framework that addresses the three questions related to the federal government in leading, collaborating and following when it comes to health and health care, and
  4. The identification of specific federal health policy mechanisms/programs and their intended policy objectives.

Proposal Requirements and Bidding Process

Potential candidates are asked to submit a maximum 10-page proposal providing information on the following:

  1. Proposed work plan and approach including an outline of timelines and associated milestones
  2. Team members (including appended CVs)
  3. Information about the organization through which the prospective consultant(s) would work (if applicable)
  4. Previous research experience outlining clients (appending executive summaries of two reports completed, and providing two references)
  5. A brief description of relevant experience, research or reports specific to the content area in this proposal
  6. Number of professional days and fees including out-of-pocket expenses (please note the effective per diem rate for the project); and
  7. Invoicing and payment schedule


HEAL reserves the right not to accept the lowest or any bid proposal submitted through this process.

The contractor may not use any of the information produced by this report for any other purpose unless written permission is given beforehand by HEAL.

There will be no payments made to the consultants for the preparation and submission of proposals in response to this request.

The proposal will be assessed in the following areas:

  1. knowledge and expertise
  2. professional experience
  3. firm and team profile


RFP Submission

All proposals are to be submitted by the close of business, Friday, February 11, 2011. The proposal must outline a work plan, costs and deliverables to complete the project as described in the preceding section and should not exceed 10 pages in length, double-spaced.

Please submit all proposals to:

HEAL Secretariat
780 Echo Drive
Attention:  Ms. Alexandria Tougui
Ottawa, Ontario
K1S 5R7
Or via e-mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Please direct any inquiries to:

Mr. Glenn Brimacombe
Co-Chair, HEAL
780 Echo Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1S 5R7
Telephone:  (613) 730-5818
Fax: (613) 730-4314
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.