Investments in Health Care & Innovation Move in Right Direction
OTTAWA, March 23, 2011 – The Association of Canadian Academic Healthcare Organizations (ACAHO) is encouraged by a series of investments in Budget 2011 that focus on health care and innovation.
Noting that the future of the health care system is the most important priority for Canadians, the Association is reassured that the Canada Health Transfer will continue to grow at 6% in 2011. Furthermore, investments in palliative care, a family caregiver tax credit, and removing the limit on the medical expense tax credit recognizes the increasing burden of care placed on families. As well, debt forgiveness for physicians and nurses who practice in rural and remote areas is welcomed.
“While Budget 2011 contains a number of positive measures, the federal government continues to be silent on providing infrastructure funding to some of our most cherished public health institutions in the country”, said Mr. Glenn Brimacombe, President & CEO, ACAHO. “There is a role for the federal government to contribute to renewing many institutions that were built at the beginning of Medicare, and build new facilities to care for our aging population”. We look forward to continuing this conversation with the federal government.
When it comes to health research and innovation, the Association sees progress with investments in the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and their Strategy on Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR); the Canada Excellence Research Chairs Program; Genome Canada; Canada Brain Research Fund; and the Indirect Costs program. Members of ACAHO are leaders in health research and the introduction of applied health system innovations – which are crucial in stretching each public dollar further while improving health outcomes. Members also play a crucial role along the health research-innovation-commercialization continuum.
“Despite current fiscal realities, there are opportunities for the federal government to invest in strategic areas that can have a direct impact on our quality of life, and standard of living and improve our collective health and wealth”, said Mr. Brimacombe. As we move closer to 2014, the Association looks forward to contributing to a public dialogue on the role of the federal government in health, health care, research and innovation.
Finally, ACAHO remains concerned that the federal government did not make any changes to the Excise Tax Act to increase the GST rebate to 100% for hospitals, institutions, facilities and agencies. As it stands, the GST continues to drain federal funding out of the health system to the tune of $300 million annually, and over $1.7 Billion over the last 5 years.
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For more information:
Media Contact: Beatrice Keleher Raffoul, Vice-President, Public Affairs
Telephone: (613) 730-5818 ext 323, Cell Phone: (613) 795-4878
Fax: (613) 730-4314, E-mail: email@example.com
Members of ACAHO are leaders of innovative and transformational organizations that serve a unique and essential role in the system: they educate the next generation of health care professionals, advance leading edge innovative practices through health research, and provide much of the specialized health care services to Canadians.
To advance patient care and the health & well-being of Canadians through research discovery and innovation.
To create an environment in which research discovery, innovation and learning benefit patients, populations, health systems and the economy.