Since 1984, Canada's health system has been based on the core principles enshrined in the Canada Health Act: public administration, comprehensiveness, universality, portability, and accessibility. Although these underlying values continue to hold, fiscal, demographic, and other factors are driving significant health reform initiatives. The goal is a more outcome-focused, integrated, and accountable health system that provides the right services to the right people - in a timely and cost-effective manner.
Informatics has the potential to play an important role in this process. The capture and dissemination of quality information, carried on well-structured information systems, is key to achieving the goals of health reform. Governments and health service providers across the country, recognizing this fact, have recently initiated large-scale investments in Canada's health information infrastructure.
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