Scientific Directors for the virtual institutes of the CANADIAN INSTITUTES OF HEALTH RESEARCH (CIHR) were named in December. Dr. Philip Branton of McGill University will lead the Cancer Research Institute; Dr. Bruce McManus of the University of British Columbia is head of the Circulatory and Respiratory Health Institute; Dr. Roderick McInnes of Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children is head of the Genetics Institute; Dr. Bhagirath Singh of the University of Western Ontario will guide the Infection and Immunity Institute; and Dr. Cyril B. Frank of the University of Calgary is the head of the Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis Institute. Dr. Rémi Quirion of Douglas Hospital in Montreal will guide the Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction Institute; Dr. Diane Finegood of Simon Fraser University will lead the Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes Institute; and Dr. Morris Barer of UBC will head the Health Services and Policy Research Institute. Dr. Jeff Reading of the University of Toronto heads the Aboriginal Peoples' Health Institute; Dr. Miriam Stewart of the University of Alberta will lead the Gender and Health Institute; Dr. Réjean Hébert of the University of Sherbrooke is the head of the Healthy Aging Institute; Dr. John Challis of the University of Toronto is the head of the Human Development, Child and Youth Health Institute; and Dr. John Frank of the University of Toronto heads the Population and Public Health Institute. There were 1,300 applications for the 13 positions.

Regional Organ and Tissue Donation Organizations Unite to Create National Web Site

A new national web site aimed at increasing registration promotion for organ, tissue, blood and bone marrow donations, has been launched to assist all Canadians in finding much needed information relating to these donation processes in regions throughout the country. provides a portal to all organ, tissue, blood and bone marrow programs throughout Canada. The GiveLife Task Force comprised of representatives from mandated donation and transplant programs across Canada, joined forces to work collaboratively on this much-needed national initiative.

With the objective of providing better information relating to regional programs involved in organ and tissue donation, transplantation, blood services and the bone marrow registry, this web site provides information regarding current donation practices and processes for current regional programs. In addition, the web site serves as a portal to existing provincial websites and other sources of donor information across Canada. A banner and link on MSN.CA, Microsoft's online home for Canadians, will help to raise awareness for organ and tissue donation in Canada and increase access to important educational information. The banner and link can be found on MSN.CA's new Canadian health channel, WebMD. Through this partnership greater access to all Canadians will be possible thus increasing the profile of this health issue.

In December, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation announced an investment of $5.1 million to provide research infrastructure support to 38 newly appointed Canada Research Chair recipients at 11 Canadian universities, including funding to the University of Manitoba to assess the effectiveness of medicare and whether appropriate treatment is reaching those who need it.

Toronto's HOSPITAL FOR SICK CHILDREN has appointed Dr. Janet Rush to the position of Chief Nursing Officer. Dr. Rush held the position of Director of Nursing Research at St. Joseph's Hospital in Hamilton from 1996, and was previously Director of Nursing for maternal and child health at the same hospital. Dr. Rush has received her bachelor of science in nursing and her master of health sciences at McMaster University, and more recently her PhD from the University of Toronto.

An advisory committee of provincial healthcare leaders will monitor and evaluate the implementation of British Columbia's recently unveiled HEALTH ACTION PLAN that includes 25 new programs and funding enhancements. Chaired by BC's provincial health officer, Dr. Perry Kendall, committee members include: Keith Anderson, vice-president, Simon Fraser Health Region; Don Avison, president, University President's Council of British Columbia; Judy Burgess, executive manager, James Bay Community Project; Betty Cameron, chair, South Fraser Health Region; Colleen Fitzpatrick, vicepresident, Hospital Employees' Union; Dr. Phillip Malpass, internal medicine specialist, Nelson; Rick Roger, CEO, Capital Health Region; Elaine Sloan, registered nurse, Castlegar; Cindy Stewart, president, Health Sciences Association of BC; and, Darlene Watts, co-chair, First Nations Chief's Health Committee.

BRITISH COLUMBIA has also rolled out three new grant programs designed to reduce nursing shortages and improve working conditions for the province's nurses. The grants will provide a total of $21 million in new funding over the next two years for programs that support training and recruitment.

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND is seeing results of its earlier $6 million investment in nursing recruitment and retention. The province's health minister, Jamie Ballem reported at the end of 2000 that 27 new permanent nursing positions had been created, and 31 new nurses recruited by the province.

The Canadian Institute for Health Information recently appointed four new members to its Board of Directors. The new board members are: Ms. Sheila Weatherill, President and CEO of Alberta's Capital Health Authority; Mr. Daniel Burns, Deputy Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Province of Ontario; Dr. Thomas F. Ward, MD FRCPC, Deputy Minister of Health, Province of Nova Scotia; and Mr. Paul M. LeBreton, QC, Deputy Minister of Health and Wellness, Province of New Brunswick.

Ted Freedman Award for Education

Ted Freedman was the surprised honoree of an annual award launched by the Ontario Hospital Association and Hospital Quarterly in cooperation with Agilent Technologies. The award will recognize those people who inspire, advocate and enable education in healthcare. Following the announcement Mr. Freedman is seen here with (left to right) Frank Norman, Chair of the OHA; Peggy Leatt, editor-in-chief of Hospital Quarterly, who recommended the concept; Ron Kaczorowski, Agilent Technology's vice-president, Healthcare Solutions, the award's patron; Anton Hart, Publisher and advocate of best practices in healthcare; and award-winning sculptor Amy Switzer of North Bay, Ontario.

In British Columbia, the Hon. Corky Evans was appointed Minister of Health and Minister Responsible for Seniors in November. Before that, Mr. Evans served as Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and Minister Responsible for Rural Development from February 2000 to November 2000; Minister of Agriculture and Food from February 1998 to February 2000; Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries from June 1996 to February 1998; and Minister of Transportation and Highways from February 1996 to June 1996. He was also Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Forests, and he chaired the Select Standing Committee on Forests, Mines and Petroleum Resources.

ROSS BAKER, Associate Professor in the Department of Health Administration, University of Toronto, received the Regent's Award from the American College of Healthcare Executives at the OHA convention in Toronto. The award is given annually in recognition of significant contributions toward the advancement of healthcare management excellence and contributions toward the achievement of the goals of the ACHE.

SASKATCHEWAN has created a Health Human Resources Council to improve the working environment in healthcare in a bid to recruit and retain more healthcare workers. The Council was established in response to a report for Saskatchewan Health which made 36 recommendations on issues including communication, education and training, supports and incentives, interprovincial regulatory and licensing issues, and skill mix and workplace structure.

MANITOBA will add 15 training positions for medical students and has also introduced a recruitment and retention initiative that will result in 53 new residency positions over the next five years. The increase in medical student positions restores the province's complement of first year student to 85, the level that existed before budget cuts in the early 1990s.

ALBERTA has also announced $10 million will be allocated to a nursing Continuing Education Endowment Fund which will be administered by the Alberta Registered Nurses Educational Trust. The endowment will support conferences, seminars and workshops, speciality certification or diploma programs, and degree level designations.

NOVA SCOTIA'S Bill 34, the Health Authorities Act, came into effect on January 1, 2001. Nine district health authorities have replaced four regional health boards. The authorities will be governed by a volunteer board of directors with two-thirds of the members nominated by community health boards. Chief Executive Officers have been appointed in most districts. In July, Robert Smith, CEO of the QEII Health Sciences Centre, was made CEO of the new Capital Health District. More recently, Jim Merkely, former president of Ontario's Brockville General Hospital, was named CEO of the new District One Health Authority in Lunenberg and Queens counties. Blaise MacNeil, who had been CEO of Ontario's Muskoka Memorial Hospital, was named CEO of the District Two Health Authority, covering Digby, Shelburne and Yarmouth counties. Marguerite Rowe, director of Regional Clinical Programs for the Western Regional Health Board, was appointed CEO of Annapolis and Kings district health authority. Peter MacKinnon, former site manager of the Colchester Regional Hospital in Truro, was named CEO of the Colchester-East Hants authority. Bruce Quigley, who was a regional director with the Department of Health, was appointed CEO of Cumberland district. Patrick Flinn, former executive director of the Aberdeen Hospital in New Glasgow, was made CEO of District Health Authority #6. John Malcolm, CEO of the Cape Breton Healthcare Complex, was named CEO of District Health Authority #8.

David Naylor, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Professor of Medicine and Health Administration, University of Toronto, was awarded the first individual Canadian Health Services Research Foundation Research Advancement Award. Naylor was recognized for his work in building the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, the development of policy relevant practice atlases, waiting list management systems and his contributions to bridging between health services research and the "sometimes resistant world of clinical medicine."

The Child Health Network is pleased to announce that Sheila Jarvis, President and CEO of the Bloorview MacMillan Centre has been appointed as Chairperson of the Network. Other members of the Executive Committee include: Wayne Fyffe, President and CEO, The Credit Valley Hospital; Stephen Handler, Executive Director, North York Community Care Access Centre; Alan Goldbloom, Senior Vice President of Clinical and Academic Affairs, The Hospital for Sick Children; Murray Mackenzie, President and CEO, North York General Hospital; Suzanne Ivey Cook, Board Member, Mount Sinai Hospital; and Alan Whiting, President and CEO, Rouge Valley Health System. The Child Health Network is a partnership of community and hospital providers working to build an integrated, high quality, family-centred health system for mothers, infants, children and youth across the Greater Toronto area.

In December, the ONTARIO MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND LONGTERM CARE announced $121 million in new funding in a range of priority areas including: cardiac surgery, hip and knee replacements, critical care for trauma patients, imaging technologies; and transplantation programs.

The board of directors of Montreal's McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) announced that it will undertake a Clinical, Operational and Financial Review. The review will examine MUHC's financial deficit and budget in relation to its service delivery mandate.

New Brunswick has appointed a provincial Physician Recruitment and Retention Officer as part of its $6.8 million, 12-point physician recruitment and retention strategy. The new recruitment officer, Lynn Kelly deGroot, was formerly facility administrator as well as region manager for Employee Training and Development.

ALBERTA has introduced a quarterly report of health system performance for consumers. Alberta's Health System: Some Performance Indicators will provide updates on access to hip and knee replacement, MRIs, open-heart surgery, waiting in emergency for an inpatient bed, and long-term care beds. The reports are intended to highlight what is going well in the provincial system, what needs improvement and what is being done about it.

The Nuclear Cardiology Program of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute has received a three-year accreditation award from the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Nuclear Medicine Laboratories. This award is a first in Canada, recognizing the high quality of patient care and diagnostic testing of the Nuclear Cardiology Program.

CHRIS CHOVAZ (left),Director of Biomedical Engineering and Building Services at St. Joseph's Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario was recently presented the award for Outstanding Biomedical Engineering Technologist 2000 by the Canadian Medical and Biological Engineering Society in recognition of his years of service, dedication to the Society and work on relief projects in Dominica, Romania, Haiti, Uganda and Jerusalem.

Vendor News

Medical Devices Canada (MEDEC) recently announced that Steven Arless has been appointed Chair of the Board of Directors. Mr. Arless has served on MEDEC's board of directors for several years. He is President and CEO of CryoCath Technologies Inc., a Montreal-based medical devices company. Peter C. Goodhand was appointed President and COO. Mr. Goodhand was previously Chairman of the Board and has served on MEDEC's Board of Directors for seven years. He has over 20 years of experience in the medical device industry and has held senior management positions both domestically and internationally. His most recent position was that of Vice President Corporate Marketing Services and Business Development at Johnson & Johnson Medical Products Canada.

Oracle Corporation Canada has appointed Sharon Baker to the newly created position of Business Development Manager. She will focus on increasing awareness of Oracle's suite of products and services within the healthcare market in Ontario. Ms. Baker's background is in finance, accounting and information technology. She was most recently President and CEO of HealthLink Clinical Data Network, and retains her Board and committee seats with HealthLink. Prior to that, she was Vice President, Corporate Services for the Ontario Hospital Association. In addition to these roles, Ms. Baker is well known for the leadership role she played in assisting healthcare organizations to address the Y2K challenge. Oracle Corporation provides the software that powers the Internet.

In November, Royal Philips Electronics and Agilent Technologies announced that Philips would acquire Agilent's Healthcare Solutions Group (HSG) for US$1.7 billion. The deal will enable Philips to enter new, high-growth markets including automatic external defibrillators and home care technology. HSG's portfolio includes more than 400 healthcare products and services.

CancerCare Manitoba has contracted with Canadian software developer Artificial Intelligence in Medicine Inc. (AIM) to implement its ISIS information system foundation for the recentlyannounced Manitoba Cervical Cancer Screening Program (MCCSP). The core concept underlying the ISIS technology is the creation of an automated multidisciplinary patient-based registry that can be integrated with clinical facilities to effect early detection and tracking of disease for prevention and follow up. AIM's software is also used to operate the information systems for cervical and breast screening programs in Ontario and Saskatchewan respectively.

Total Healthcare Spending to Top $95 Billion

According to a report released in December by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), total healthcare spending in Canada is projected to have been $89.0 billion in 1999 and $95.1 billion in 2000 (in current dollars), representing annual increases of 6.0% and 6.9%, respectively.

Combined with increases of 4.8% in 1997 and 6.4% in 1998, these numbers indicate a sustained recovery in healthcare spending over the last four years, reflecting, primarily, increased spending by governments and government agencies.

After adjusting for inflation, real growth in total health expenditure over the last four years averaged 4.5%. The last time Canadians saw similar real growth rates was in the mid-tolate 1980s. (Source: Dr. Jeremiah Hurley, Advisor to CIHI)

Total Health Expenditure - Trends

During the period from 1996 to 2000, annual growth (unadjusted for inflation) averaged 6.0%. This compares with annual growth rates averaging 2.6% between 1991 and 1996, a period when governments introduced fiscal restraint measures that affected spending on health and other social programs. Between 1975 and 1991, a period of high inflation, health expenditure growth averaged 11.2%.

Total Health Expenditure - Private and Public Sectors

Healthcare spending by households and private insurance firms (the private sector) was estimated to have been $25.1 billion in 1998, an increase of 5.5% over 1997. Private sector expenditure is forecast to have been $26.2 billion in 1999 and $27.5 billion in 2000, reflecting increases of 4.5% and 5.0%.

The private sector share of total health expenditure decreased from its peak of 30.2% in 1997 to 29.9% in 1998, and is forecast to have decreased to 29.5% in 1999 and 29.0% in 2000. The decline of the private share in 1998 marked the first year that public sector expenditure grew faster than private sector expenditure since 1991, at which time governments began to restrain public sector health expenditure.

In 1998, spending on healthcare by the public sector was an estimated $58.8 billion, an increase of 6.8% over 1997. Public sector expenditure is forecast to have been $62.8 billion in 1999 and $67.6 billion in 2000, annual increases of 6.7% and 7.7%, respectively.

Total Health Expenditure and Economic Growth

CIHI also reports an increase in the ratio of total health expenditure to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 9.0% in 1997 to 9.3% in 1998. The total health expenditure to GDP ratio is projected to have remained at this level in 1999 and 2000. The GDP is the value of all goods and services produced in a given country. The healthcare spending to GDP ratio is an indicator of the extent to which a nation's resources are used in healthcare-related activities.

In 1998, Canada and France had the third highest total health expenditure as a proportion of GDP among the G-7 industrialized countries. The United States had the highest ratio of the G-7 countries with 13.6% of GDP, followed by Germany with 10.6% of GDP.

National Health Expenditure Database

The data are from CIHI's latest report, Health Expenditure Trends, 1975-2000, which provides an overview of healthcare spending trends from 1975 to 1998, as well as forecasts for 1999 and 2000. The report draws upon data compiled from CIHI's National Health Expenditure Database, Canada's most comprehensive source of information on healthcare financing and spending.

To order a copy of the report, please contact CIHI's Order Desk at (613) 241-7860 or on line at

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