Published: December 7, 2021

Stéphane Brutus is the dean of the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa. Jaason Geerts, PhD, is the director of research and leadership development at the Canadian College of Health Leaders. Together, they published a Globe and Mail opinion editorial. Extract below:

When Nova Scotia Tory leader Tim Houston surged to an upset victory in August, most commentators attributed his success to his promise to improve healthcare. His proposed solution was captured by one line of his platform: “We need more beds, more staff, and more technology.” To overcome the next wave of the pandemic and to improve healthcare, a basic variation of this theme is being proposed by every government. However, following the recent Canadian Institute for Health Information report that indicates that Canadian healthcare costs continue to surge exponentially, can anyone really believe that we will be better off simply with “more,” especially with no consensus ceiling to consider?

The context bearing down on us is a nation-wide healthcare human resources (health HR) crisis. The workforce is being depleted, with droves of nurses, physicians, personal support workers, and others who are suffering from burnout or PTSD, quitting their jobs in record numbers. According to Statistics Canada, the job vacancy rate in healthcare is at an all-time high, up more than 50% from last year.

Without question, the one and only resource needed to sustain and improve healthcare systems across the country is human: qualified and engaged health professionals. However, simply adding “boots on the ground” or superficial one-off financial incentives to attract staff—such as the Quebec government’s $18,000 bonuses for nurses—will unfortunately not succeed.

Our aim is to conduct and publish top quality, international research (normally, collaboratively). Our scope is not limited to the health domain. Anyone interested in collaborating is welcome to contact CCHL’s director of research and leadership development, Dr. Jaason Geerts at