June 21, 2023 (Ottawa) – With the House of Commons adjourning for its summer recess, HealthCareCAN is urging members of Parliament to remember that Canada’s health researchers and trainees are still waiting for much-needed federal funding increases to carry on their critical work.
“As parliamentarians return to their ridings this week, I encourage them to put the report submitted by the Advisory Panel on the Federal Research Support System at the top of their summer reading list and return to Ottawa in September ready to step up with support for Canada’s dedicated health researchers,” said Paul-Émile Cloutier, president and CEO of HealthCareCAN.
HealthCareCAN was extremely pleased in March when the Advisory Panel’s report was released and called for increased investments in investigator-led science and graduate scholarships and post-doctoral fellowships. This had also been a key HealthCareCAN recommendation for the federal budget, a recommendation that was unfortunately not included in the 2023 budget released March 28.
Federal base funding for investigator-led health research has seen zero growth in the last three years, a situation made even worse by the fact that inflation is driving costs up. Trainee remuneration rates have not increased in over two decades. Without urgent action, Canada risks falling even further behind other nations that are investing more seriously in health research.
“Nations such as the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States and others have stepped up investment in their future by enhancing support for health research and trainees, yet the Government of Canada seems content to remain a laggard in this regard,” added Mr. Cloutier. “This short-sighted approach is leading to Canada losing not only our best and brightest researchers to other countries, but also the benefits their research provides to the health system in the form of innovation and improvements in care delivery and treatment of diseases.”
HealthCareCAN is the national voice of action for hospitals, health authorities, health research and health organizations across Canada. We advocate for health research and innovation to enhance access to high-quality health services for Canadians and we empower health professionals through our best-in-class learning programs.
Alexandria Rowe, Communications and Member Services Specialist
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