Minister of Health (Canada)

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 of Health is Patty Hajdu, MP for Thunder Bay—Superior North.

Minister of Health
Patty Hajdu

since November 20, 2019
Department of Health
StyleThe Honourable
AppointerGovernor General of Canada
Term lengthAt Her Majesty's pleasure
Inaugural holderDavid Dingwall
FormationJuly 12, 1996
Salary$255,300 (2017)[1]
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The Minister of Health is responsible for maintaining and improving the health of Canadians. This is supported by the Health Portfolio which comprises:

The Health Portfolio consists of approximately 12,500 full-time equivalent employees and an annual budget of over $3.8 billion.[2]


The first Department of Health was established in 1919, and unlike most other departments, had no designated minister.[3] The President of the Privy Council was the first designated to manage the department,[4] which was followed by the Minister of Immigration and Colonization in 1921 under Arthur Meighen,[5] then the Minister of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment later that year under William Lyon Mackenzie King.[6] The Minister of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment managed the Department of Health through the next Meighen[7] and King[8] 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.[9] In 1944, the position was again split into two roles, with the war veteran portfolio going to the Minister of Veterans Affairs,[10] and the rest of the portfolio moving to the Minister of National Health and Welfare.[11]

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.[12]



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


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