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Health minister launches innovation panel

Rona AmbroseTORONTO – Health Minister Rona Ambrose (pictured) has officially launched her new Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation. The Minister named Dr. David Naylor to chair the panel, which is made up of prominent Canadians from across the country providing a range of perspectives and expertise. The other members are: Cy Frank, Neil Fraser, Francine Girard, Toby Jenkins, Jack Mintz, Chris Power, and Heather Reisman.

“As Health Minister, I am committed to finding ways to harness the tremendous potential of innovation and ultimately improving the healthcare system for Canadians. We know more money is not the solution,” said Ambrose. “It is time to get innovative and ensure our healthcare system continues to improve. I look forward to working with Dr. Naylor and all of the Panel members.”

At the panel’s first meeting, Minister Ambrose and the panel members discussed the tremendous potential of innovation, and the role the panel will play in highlighting areas of innovation that could bring the greatest value to Canada’s healthcare system.

Canada currently spends 11.2% of its Gross domestic product (GDP) on healthcare, up from 7% in 1975. Among Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, Canada’s system is the fifth most expensive in terms of its share of GDP.

Innovation is critical if the healthcare system is to continue delivering the high quality care Canadians expect. Jurisdictions across Canada are working to spur innovation, and their efforts are starting to pay off. Now is the time to take stock, and consider how the Government of Canada can best support further progress.

Over the course of the next year, the panel will take a focused look at the many creative ideas and approaches that exist in Canada and abroad, identify those that hold the greatest promise for Canada, and offer its recommendations on how the federal government can support them. The work of the panel will be evidence-based, and will respect jurisdictional roles as well as Canada’s core healthcare values.

“Given the pace of technological and social change, every healthcare system must innovate relentlessly to maintain quality, accessibility and affordability,” said Dr. Naylor. “I am therefore honoured to chair a panel that has been asked to consider how innovation can be harnessed to make Canadian healthcare more sustainable and responsive.”

Minister Ambrose and her officials have been discussing healthcare innovation with the provinces and territories since last October’s meeting of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Health. The panel will focus its recommendations on potential federal actions, complementing provincial and territorial efforts to improve their health systems. To this end, the panel will meet with representatives from the provinces and territories throughout the process.

The panel will also actively seek the views of Canadians and organizations with an interest in healthcare innovation. More information on the panel’s engagement process, including how Canadians can participate, will be released in the coming months.

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1 Comment responses

  1. Avatar
    July 10, 2014

    I suggest that the providers of technology should be invited to the table. In addition, providers that represent the nursing home sector should be invited as well, not just those health organizations from the acute-care sector.

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