On June 6, 2022, the Standing Committee on Science and Research’s much anticipated first report was tabled in the House of Commons. Focusing on the Successes, Challenges and Opportunities for Science in Canada, the report offers 13 recommendations to the federal government to improve the way science is funded and carried out in Canada.
HealthCareCAN is pleased to see that several of the recommendations outlined in our submission to the Committee are included in its final report, specifically:
- Create a pan-Canadian health research data repository to centralize health research data from across Canada and facilitate health research and innovation across institutions and jurisdictions.
- Evaluate federal and tri-council funding programs with the objective of making them less restrictive and more flexible to foster partnerships.
- Re-invest in fundamental science through the tri-councils.
The report also addresses concerns about the inadequate level of support for the total (indirect) costs of research raised by HealthCareCAN in our submission.
“It is encouraging to see the Committee endorse the recommendations HealthCareCAN and our members put forward in our submission,” says Dr. David Hill, Scientific Director at Lawson Health Research Institute and co-chair of HealthCareCAN’s Vice Presidents of Health Research Committee. “We have long advocated for increased federal funding for fundamental science and to cover the full costs of research, so we hope this report will push the government to do what is needed to ensure a successful future for health research and all science in Canada.”
While the Committee’s report addresses the challenges science in Canada has been facing for decades, it fails to deal with some of the unique concerns of public sector researchers working in settings other than government labs and post-secondary institutions, including researchers working in hospitals, health research institutions, and healthcare organizations.
“While we are supportive of the recommendations made by the Committee in its report, what is sorely missing is the perspective and experiences of health system researchers,” says Paul-Émile Cloutier, President and CEO of HealthCareCAN. “We encourage the Committee to undertake a study focused on healthcare in the near future so they can dig deeper into the unique needs of Canada’s health research sector and the many opportunities that exist for the sector and its researchers.”
HealthCareCAN eagerly awaits the federal government’s response to the report and will be following up with members of Parliament and government officials to push for the implementation of the Committee’s recommendations.