Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly 1(4) March 1998 : 10-11.doi:10.12927/hcq.1998.20624

Quarterly Change

CHRIS MCELVAINE, President and CEO of The Empire Life Insurance Company, was recently elected Chairman of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc. (CLHIA). The CLHIA is the oldest organization of life and health insurance companies in North American, and includes a membership of 80 Canadian, American, British and other European companies representing more than 90% of the life and health insurance in force in Canada.

On June 1st, DR. DAVID W. STRANGWAY, past President and Vice-chancellor of the University of British Columbia, become President of the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI). A federally funded non-profit corporation, CFI's initial capital of $800 million with be used to support research infrastructure projects over the next five years, matched by investments from government, the private and voluntary sectors.

The fifth annual 3M HEALTH CARE QUALITY TEAM AWARDS were presented by 3M Canada and the Canadian College of Health Service Executives at the Canadian Healthcare Association Conference in June. The winners were Capital Health - Castle Downs Health Centre, St. Albert, Alberta, in the small/rural category and Scarborough General Hospital, Scarborough, Ontario, in the large/urban category. The winners were selected on the basis of projects that have created significant, sustained changed within their organizations.

HEWLETT-PACKARD CANADA has been awarded a multimillion dollar contract to manage a major information technology project to ensure Year 2000 readiness of Blue Cross of Atlantic Canada, the largest provider of benefits programs in the Atlantic region.

APM is now Computer Sciences Corporation, Healthcare Group. New telephone is 416 814-3888.

The Board of Directors of Canadian Blood Services (CBS) has appointed LYNDA CRANSTON to the position of Chief Executive Officer of the new blood agency which by September will be the single point of accountability and management for the collection and distribution of blood and blood products in Canada, outside of Quebec. Ms. Cranston has been CEO and a senior executive with a number of major hospitals and health centres in Western Canada.

Heal Net has a new Managing Director, DR. DIANA ROYCE. Dr. Royce has more than 12 years experience in the postsecondary education sector related to policy development, implementation, administration, public consultation and research. Most recently, she was a member of Ontario's Collaborative Group on Health Research Funding, an inter-ministerial committee which looked at ways to build public/private research collaborations in the province's health sector.

DAVID DODGE has been appointed Federal Deputy Minister of Health, replacing Michele S. Jean. Mr. Dodge was previously Deputy Minister of Finance.

The Canadian Health Services Research Foundation has named LINDA MURPHY to the position of Manager - Research Programs. With more than 10 years' experience managing policy-oriented research funding at Health Canada, Ms. Murphy will now be responsible for design and implementation of programs to service research needs of private and public managers and policy makers in the health sector.

HEALTH MINISTER ALAN ROCK has announced support for two provincial research projects from the Health Transition Fund - an initiative recommended by the National Forum on Health. The first $11 million project, based in Alberta, will look at ways to improve primary health care, particularly in rural and remote areas. The second $4.8 million project, in Quebec, will support pilot testing of a model of care to provide health and social services for frail and elderly persons.

Minister Rock has also created a new position at HEALTH CANADA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF NURSING POLICY, to strengthen the focus on nursing issues in Canada. No name has been announced.

In NEWFOUNDLAND, the provincial government has partnered with the Canadian Air Force in an unique arrangement which will see Air Force physicians and physician's assistants being assigned for periods of three to six weeks to under-serviced or needy areas of the province.

The Nova Scotia government has announced plans for the NOVA SCOTIA HEALTH RESEARCH FOUNDATION which will fund research in health outcome research and evaluation, medical research, health public policy research and health utilization research.

In Quebec, the MONTREAL NEUROLOGICAL INSTITUTE AND HOSPITAL recently started construction on the world's first brain tumor research centre. The $26 million Centre, which will be completed in early 1999, will create 100 new biomedical research and support positions.

The ONTARIO HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION in cooperation with the UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO'S DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH ADMINISTRATION is developing a series of public report cards for Ontario hospitals. The first phase, a report card which describes key dimensions of the hospital system but does not name specific hospitals, will be presented at the OHA Convention in November 1998. The second phase will include a second report card and balanced scorecard providing specific comparative hospital data and will be released at the 1999 OHA Convention.

The SASKATCHEWAN MINISTRY OF HEALTH recently announced it would allocate $9 million in funding, from the $1.72 billion annual health budget, to hire 200 nurses to meet urgent needs in health districts across the province.

ALBERTA has also amended its Hospitals Act and the Medical Profession Act to prohibit private health facilities from operating without formal approval from the Minister of Health. Prior to this new legislation, private facilities could operate based on accreditation by the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

BRITISH COLUMBIA has increased the provincial health ministry 1998/99 budget by $228.5 million to enhance emergency, preventive, hospital and Pharmacare services.

Healthcare research got a boost recently in New Brunswick as a result of a partnership between Atlantic Health Sciences Corporation and the University of New Brunswick to form an INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH RESEARCH which, initially will focus on: population health, health policy analysis, outcome analysis, clinical trials and telehealth research.

MANITOBA HEALTH has changed its community contribution policy for health capital projects so that communities are now only required to raise 20% of funds for a new construction project. Community contribution policies in other provinces range from 50% in Ontario, 40% in British Columbia, 35% in Saskatchewan and 25% in Nova Scotia.

ALBERTA has announced plans to review the way it funds its regional health authorities. The review will examine the current system of funding and the demands facing the health system and make recommendations for improved processes for matching funding to anticipated long term need. The report will be completed by the end of August.

Three remote communities in the YUKON will soon be linked via a $590,000 telemedicine partnership between the Canadian Network for the Advancement of Research, Industry and Education (CANARIE), the Yukon government and NorthwestTel. The two-phase pilot project will involve, first, the installation of the telecommunications infrastructure necessary to accommodate telemedicine, and second, implementation of clinical health applications.

What's on the Minds of Hospital Executives?

In the Hospitals and Health Networks Leadership Report 1998: Key Issues Shaping the Future of Health Care, 729 U.S. CEOS, presidents and executive directors from hospitals, managed care organizations and physician groups were polled on what they considered to be the major issues they face, their readiness to deal with the issues they'd identified and the strategies they were pursuing. Interestingly, information technology ranked as the second most important issue for hospital executives ("commitment to mission" was first), however, none of those polled expressed confidence in their ability to deal with new technologies. The key information technology challenges were identified as: Standard Patient Identification; Electronic Medical Records and Telemedicine.


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