Canada lags in health innovations

Canada lags behind several other developed countries when it comes to health innovations, such as developing new prescription drugs and medical devices, according to a Conference Board of Canada report.

The report, sponsored by a group of health care leaders, including University of British Columbia Medical School Dean Gavin Stuart, ranks members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD):

  • Canada's performance is relatively low, despite being the third highest per capita spender on health care, behind the United States and Switzerland

  • Governments in Canada pump about C$92 billion (about U.S. $87 billion) into the health system annually and citizens spend another C$40 billion (about U.S. $38 billion) on out-of-pocket health care expenses.

    "The Canadian health care system, when compared with those of other OECD countries, is not a high-performing system," states the report.

    Among the study's findings about health care research in Canada:

  • There is little collaboration between universities and business enterprises.

  • Canada has drastically fewer medical patents and applications than other countries.

  • Fewer university graduates in Canada have advanced research skills.

    Source: Pamela Fayerman, Canada lags in health innovations, Vancouver Sun, August 28, 2007.

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    For more on Health Issues:

    FMF Policy Bulletin/ 04 September 2007
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