Notwithstanding best efforts, federal budget leaves Canada’s health researchers at risk

March 23, 2017 (Ottawa) – H10, which represents the country’s largest research hospitals receive the federal budget with mixed reviews.

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The group was looking for the federal government’s immediate action to further address a major funding crisis in the health research community through a substantial increase in unfettered funds to the base budget of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

In 2016, the federal government offered the largest unfettered increase to the federal granting councils since CIHR’s inception. However, CIHR’s budget was neglected for close to a decade.  More funding is needed to restore CIHR to its 2010 purchasing power. Without this, health research in Canada is severely compromised.

“While we remain concerned, we are willing to consider that the government wants to release the Science Review and install the Chief Science Advisor before it further commits the hard-earned tax dollars of Canadians,” says Bill Tholl President & CEO of HealthCareCAN. “However, we urge the government to revise its decision for its fall Economic Update”.

Mr. Tholl and H10 fear the hourglass is running out on Canada’s ability to continue its legacy in health research. Recently, international experts commissioned to assess process issues in peer review at CIHR felt they had to begin their report by flagging the impact of severe funding issues on peer-reviewed health research in Canada.

“Each of us knows someone for whom health research has transformed a deadly disease into one that they can live with or who has been relieved of pain after accident or injury because of health research,” he added. “We know that denying Canadians these possibilities is not what this government wants to do for science, for health or for the economy”, he added.

H10 is pleased, however, to see health and bio-sciences as one of six key areas for Canada’s innovation and skills plan. “If given a chance to compete for further innovation and infrastructure funding, research hospitals will demonstrate a significant return-on-investment to Canadians”, said Mr. Tholl. They appreciated the Government’s acknowledgement of their role as national assets in Budget 2016.

H10 is an action roundtable composed of CEOs from the largest research hospitals from across the country.  HealthCareCAN acts as the secretariat for H10.

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Media contact:
Lucie Boileau
Director of Communications, Marketing and Government Relations
855-236-0213/613-241-8005 x205 Cell:  613-462-5604

The Association of Canadian Academic Healthcare Organizations and the Canadian Healthcare Association merged on January 1, 2014, to form a dynamic new national health organization. Now known as HealthCareCAN, our mission and vision are aspirational and optimistic and embody what we can accomplish together to improve organizational and health system outcomes.

Copyright 2014 HealthCareCAN