November 23, 2021 (Ottawa) – While today’s sanguine Speech from the Throne included a welcomed thanks for the stalwart health workers’ efforts throughout the pandemic and prioritized strengthening our healthcare system and public health supports, it made no mention of health research, the struggling sector that has been critical to Canada’s recovery from the pandemic.
“Across Canada, health research institutes are facing multiple challenges that are acting as barriers to innovation and discovery, such as workforce shortages and outdated infrastructure” said Paul-Émile Cloutier, president and CEO of HealthCareCAN. “To emerge stronger from this pandemic, the Federal Government needs to recognize the value of this sector and strategically support its growth in a way that allows it to thrive so that it can be an economic driver for Canada’s recovery plan.”
The work undertaken by Canada’s health researchers is a key component in advancing many of the priorities outlined in the Speech from the Throne: It leads to the development of innovative treatments that improve the delivery of care to vulnerable populations, such as older Canadians and those with mental health and addiction challenges; it helps to advance reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples by improving our understanding of – and developing best practices on – cultural safety in healthcare settings; and as the threat of climate change increases, their research into its effects of on health will be critical for Canada to effectively face future challenges. We would remind the government of the critical connection and correlation between climate change and health as well as reconciliation and health.
HealthCareCAN has made several recommendations to strengthen healthcare and health research in our 2022 pre-budget submission. These recommendations describe clearly how the federal government can energize the health research ecosystem as a key job creator and economic engine and meaningfully build a healthier tomorrow through investments in health research. These measures must be part of the upcoming federal budget as they will help address the capacity, funding and infrastructure challenges facing Canada’s hospitals and health research institutes.
HealthCareCAN understands that a Speech from the Throne outlines the direction the government wants to take. We look forward to exploring each element in greater depth, to identify how health research can be an asset in reaching the government’s goals.
“Never before has the important role of health research in our country’s resiliency been more obvious,” added Mr. Cloutier. “Yet Canada continues to limit this important sector’s potential by hindering access to the funding it needs to strengthen its infrastructure, continue innovating and compete for international talent and investments. This must change. Health research is the foundation of a healthier future for Canada.”
HealthCareCAN is the national voice of healthcare organizations and hospitals across Canada. We foster informed and continuous, results-oriented discovery and innovation across the continuum of healthcare.
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Alexandria Rowe, Communications and Member Services
855-236-0213/613-241-8005 ext. 221 │ Cell: 613-220-1023
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