CDM Health Policy Summit 2022

Canadian health care is at a crossroads, and the fate of equitable and accessible public health care is at stake. That's why we are hosting our first-ever health policy summit on Saturday, October 22nd.

This one-day virtual event will bring together medical trainees, physicians and health researchers from across Canada to tackle some of the big questions facing public health care. 

To register, click here.


11:00 - Opening plenary and keynote address

After welcoming remarks from our Chair Dr. Melanie Bechard and Executive Director Katie Arnup we will hear from keynote speaker Dr. Monika Dutt.

11:45 - Forum: Health care financing and delivery

If you’ve ever wondered what “privatization” of health care means or if you’re worried about recent trends in Canada, you won’t want to miss our discussion on health care financing & delivery. CDM board members Dr. Yipeng Ge and Dr. Jasmine Gite will provide a brief overview of how health care is financed and delivered in Canada. This will be followed by a facilitated Q&A discussion open to all attendees. 

12:45 - International panel on strategies for tackling surgical backlogs

Health systems around the world are grappling with surgical backlogs caused by procedures postponed and cancelled during the COVID-19 pandemic. We'll hear from health systems leaders from around the world about how they're addressing these issues.

Moderator: Dr. Thara Kumar

Panelists: Dr. David Himmelstein, Dr. David Urbach, Dr. Allyson Pollock

1:30 - Lunch break

2:30 - Panel: From advocacy to implementation - Getting policies over the finish line

Not to be missed by anyone interested in advocacy, the goal of this discussion will be to talk about how policies go from idea to reality. How do we take our campaigns to the next level to influence government policy and public services?

Moderator: Dr. Bernard Ho

Panelists: Dr. Ryan Meili and Ayendri Riddell

3:30 - Workshop: Persuasive writing and strategic communications for health advocacy

Building off of the previous panel, this skills-building workshop will dive deeper into specific tactics and strategies for effective and strategic communications in health advocacy.

Facilitators: Katie Arnup and Dr. Hasan Sheikh

4:30 - Keynote & Closing

Our afternoon keynote address will be presented by Pat Armstrong.

5:15 - Networking meetings

Regional networking opportunities will be hosted in breakout rooms. Board members of Canadian Doctors for Medicare will facilitate. 

CDM Health Policy Summit Registration Fees

Registration fees are on a sliding scale based on career stage and membership categories. Practicing and retired physicians are encouraged to join Canadian Doctors for Medicare to take advantage of member discounted pricing. If you are unwaged or the cost of registration is prohibitive to your participation please contact us.

  Member Non-Member
Student* $5  
Resident or fellow* $25  
Practicing physician  $75 $100
Retired physician  $50 $75
Allied health professional, health researcher, etc.   $50
Patient/Advocate/Community member   $25

*A free membership is included with summit registration for these ticket categories.

To register, click here.

When registering, please scroll through the options and register in the appropriate category. Please note: you will need to log into a Zoom account in order to register. If you don't have an account you can create a free one with the email you'd like associated with your registration. 

If you have any questions about the summit or CDM membership please reach out to our Membership & Community Outreach Coordinator Zareef Ahmad at [email protected]

Speaker profiles

Morning keynote: Reimagining health advocacy through a public health lens

Dr. Monika Dutt trained in Public Health and Preventive Medicine and is a Medical Officer of Health in Newfoundland and Labrador. She is also a family doctor at the Ally Centre of Cape Breton. She is a member of the Decent Work and Health Network and the Anti-Racism Coalition of Cape Breton. She usually lives in Sydney, Nova Scotia with her son, but is currently in Hamilton, Ontario to start a PhD in Health Policy, with a focus on labour justice and public health.


Forum: Health care financing and delivery

Dr. Yipeng Ge is a Chinese-Canadian, first-generation immigrant, and a humble and grateful guest of this land. He grew up in Waterloo, Ontario and completed his undergraduate studies at McMaster University in Health Sciences (Honours) with a specialization in Global Health. Yipeng Ge is a resident physician in Public Health and Preventive Medicine (including family medicine) in Ottawa, where he also received his MD degree. Currently, he is in his third year of residency training (postgraduate year 3, PGY3) in public health and preventive medicine, and working towards a Master of Public Health degree (Health and Social Behaviour) at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Dr. Jasmine Gite is a Family Medicine resident physician at McMaster University, returning to serve the Hamilton community where she completed her undergraduate studies. During her medical school training in the US, she gained insight on the inequities of a private health system and became passionate about how the Canadian public health system can be improved to be truly equitable and sustainable. Her specific areas of interest include palliative care, elder care, and pharmacare. 


International panel on strategies for tackling surgical backlogs

Dr. Thara Kumar is an Emergency Medicine clinician and Medical Officer of Health based in Red Deer, Alberta.  She has been a Board Member of Canadian Doctors for Medicare since 2019.  She is currently completing her Masters of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, and has an interest in addiction medicine, health equity issues, and the preservation and expansion of public health care in Canada.


Dr. David U. Himmelstein M.D. is a Distinguished Professor of Public Health at the City University of New York's Hunter College and a Lecturer in Medicine at Harvard Medical School.  He also serves as a staff physician at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx.  He graduated from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, completed a medical residency at Highland Hospital in Oakland, California, a fellowship in General Internal Medicine at Harvard and practiced primary care internal medicine and served as the Chief of Social and Community Medicine at the public hospital in Cambridge, MA prior to his move to CUNY.  He has authored or co-authored three books and more than 150 journal articles, including widely-cited proposals for single payer health care reform in the NEJM and JAMA, and studies of patient dumping (which led to the enactment of EMTALA law that banned that practice), the high administrative costs of the U.S. health care system, medical bankruptcy (co-authored with Elizabeth Warren), and the mortal consequences of uninsurance

Dr. David Urbach MD MSc is Head of the Department of Surgery and Director of Perioperative Services at Women’s College Hospital, and Professor of Surgery and Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at The University of Toronto. In addition to being a practicing general surgeon, he is a Senior Fellow at the Women’s College Hospital Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care (WIHV), and Senior Scientist at the Women’s College Hospital Research Institute and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. Through his leadership, the Department of Surgery at Women’s College Hospital has become recognized for surgical service innovations, such as same-day discharge for total joint replacement and other major surgery, gender transition-related surgery, virtual post-operative monitoring, and single-entry referral models for surgical services. His research focuses on surgery-related health services. David is especially interested in improving health policy related to surgical services in Canada, particularly access to care and the sustainability and cost of surgery in Canadian hospitals. He has written over 250 peer-reviewed scientific articles and has lectured around the world.

Prof Allyson Pollock is clinical professor of public health at Newcastle University and honorary professor at UCL. She was director of Newcastle’s Institute of Health & Society, and has set up and directed research and teaching units at Queen Mary University of London and the University of Edinburgh, establishing some of the UK’s leading undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in global health. Prior to that she was Head of the Public Health Policy Unit at UCL and Director of Research & Development at UCL Hospitals NHS Trust.

She trained in medicine in Scotland and became a consultant in public health medicine in 1991. Her research interests include regulatory science, rational medicines use, and access to medicines; health service reorganisation, marketisation and PFI / PPPs; and childhood injuries and the epidemiology of trauma.

Panel: From advocacy to implementation - Getting policies over the finish line

Dr. Bernard Ho is an Emergency Medicine physician currently based in Toronto, but has also worked in various parts of Ontario, British Columbia, and the Northwest Territories. He is a board member and Vice Chair of Communications for Canadian Doctors for Medicare. Throughout his medical training, Bernard has been passionate about health advocacy and health equity, working to improve access to healthcare for all Canadians.


Dr. Ryan Meili is a family physician in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan with a focus on health equity and a lifelong advocate for healthy public policy.

He has practiced medicine in rural and Northern Saskatchewan, inner-city Saskatoon and rural Mozambique. 

In 2017, Ryan put the concept of politics as "medicine on a larger scale" into practice, running to become Member of the Legislative Assembly for Saskatoon Meewasin and serving as Leader of the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party and Leader of the Official Opposition from 2018-2022. 

He also served on the board of Canadian Doctors for Medicare from 2008-2016 and is the author of A Healthy Society: How a focus on health can revive Canadian democracy. He lives in Saskatoon with his wife, Mahli Brindamour, and their two sons, Abe and Gus. 

Ayendri Riddell is a Sri Lankan born activist and community educator with extensive experience in campaign strategy. She has worked in a variety of spaces, from international human rights NGOs such as Amnesty International, to small advocacy organizations such as the Ontario Public Interest Research Group. Her experience organizing within movements for migrant justice, environmental justice and Indigenous land defence has led her to better understand the intertwined nature of the issues that communities face and the necessity of collective organizing and solidarity to challenge them. She is currently the campaigner at BC Health Coalition.

Afternoon Keynote: Reimagining care: transforming long-term care & home care in Canada

Pat Armstrong is Professor of Sociology at York University, Toronto and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.  Focusing on equity in the fields of social policy, of women, work and the health and social services, she has published widely, co-authoring more than a dozen books and co-editing another dozen, as well as many journal articles, book chapters and technical reports. In addition, she has published multiple other pieces for public audiences. Much of her work has been for or with unions and community groups as well as for governments. She was Chair of Women and Health Care Reform, a group funded for over a decade by Health Canada. She was Principal Investigator of a ten-year SSHRC-funded project on “Reimagining Long-term Residential Care: An International Study of Promising Practices” and is currently PI of “Changing Place: Unpaid Work in Public Places and Learning from the pandemic? Planning for a long-term care labour force” . She is also co-investigator on multiple other projects, such as “Strengthening Care Mobilization in Canada's Social Welfare State”. She recently served as co-chair of the Canadian Association of University Teacher’s Equity Committee.