Overhaul needed to keep pan-Canadian health organizations relevant: report

The Canadian Press
March 27, 2018
Written by The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — A new report is recommending a dramatic overhaul to the role the federal government and its arms-length organizations play in the Canadian health care system.

An external review has found what it calls serious gaps and overlaps in the eight federally funded health organizations tasked with providing consistency and direction across Canada's healthcare system – a shortfall that it says is impossible to fix without retooling.

Ottawa has created eight pan-Canadian health organizations over the past three decades in response to a variety of nationwide health needs, including the Mental Health Commission of Canada and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction.

The authors of today's report say while the organizations may have played important roles in getting the healthcare system to where it is today, change is needed to bring Canada into the 21st century.

In particular, the report says, changes will be necessary to accommodate the federal government's plan to develop a national pharmacare program, as well as to take advantage of big data to improve health delivery and outcomes.

The report also recommends phasing out some of the organizations, in part because they may be too small to have an adequate impact or because the health-care context has changed enough that they aren't as effective now as when they were originally created.

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