Increased funding for CIHI, Infoway in the works
February 8, 2023
OTTAWA – The federal government announced funding of $505 million over 5 years to CIHI, Canada Health Infoway and federal data partners to work with provinces and territories on developing new health data indicators, to support the creation of a Centre of Excellence on health worker data, to advance digital health tools and an interoperability roadmap, and to underpin efforts to use data to improve safety and quality of care.
The announcement was part of the federal government’s offer of $46.2 billion in new funding to the provinces over 10 years. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said this week’s meeting with the Premiers was a working meeting and he didn’t expect deals to be signed for several weeks.
The premiers said they would review Trudeau’s offer and come back to the table for more discussions in the weeks ahead.
As part of the agreement, Ottawa will require the provinces to improve their reporting of health information. The government’s backgrounder states, “What is measured, matters. By collecting and sharing health information the same way, Canadians can see the progress being made by each jurisdiction to deliver results on the shared priorities in health care for their populations.”
The federal government is prepared to measure and report annual progress on the following common indicators with disaggregated data and is asking the provincial and territorial governments to do the same as part of their data commitment:
- Percentage of Canadians who report having access to a regular family health team, a family doctor or nurse practitioner;
- Size of COVID-19 surgery backlog;
- Net new family physicians, nurses, and nurse practitioners;
- Percentage of youth aged 12-25 with access to integrated youth services for mental health and substance use;
- Median wait times for community mental health and substance use services;
- Percentage of Canadians with a mental disorder who have an unmet mental health care need;
- Percentage of Canadians who can access their own comprehensive health record electronically; and
- Percentage of family health service providers and other health professionals (e.g., pharmacists, specialists, etc.) who can share patient health information electronically.
CIHI will lead a process with provinces, territories and experts to review and refine these existing common indicators and develop a broader list, including new indicators.
This will enable jurisdictions and CIHI to report to Canadians based on comparable indicators and data on how healthcare is delivered across Canada and how it is performing and how it compares internationally. Bilateral agreements will include indicators tailored to provincial and territorial needs.
As part of the funding transfer, Ottawa is also proposing an immediate, unconditional $2 billion top-up to address immediate pressures on the health care system, especially in pediatric hospitals, emergency rooms and surgical and diagnostic backlogs.