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Canadians seeking more federal innovation to improve health care system

​Ottawa, August 21, 2017 – New research on health innovation in Canada conducted on behalf of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) shows provincial and territorial governments are viewed as more effective drivers of innovation than the federal government. As health care delivery is a provincial/territorial responsibility, there is likely more visibility afforded to that level of government; however, the federal government should seize the opportunity to drive a national agenda of health innovation.

The study​ found that 68% of Canadians feel that provinces/territories are doing a good job supporting innovative health care practices in order for Canadians to get high-quality health care in a timely way, as compared to 57% for the federal government.

The CMA commissioned this study at a time when innovation is expected to drive meaningful improvements in health care delivery, research and population health. Robotics, 3D printing and artificial intelligence have the potential to change health care delivery technology, and information technology in particular will play a greater role in the structure of care.  

The CMA recognizes the importance of supporting physician-led innovation and launched a new subsidiary, Joule, in 2016. The CMA will hold its 150th Annual Meeting and General Council in Québec City from Aug. 20-23 where the topic of innovation will be a major theme discussed by physicians from across the country.

The study by Advanced Symbolics covered the period from January 2016 to July 2017 with a sample size of 126,600 individuals residing in Canada who are engaged in the topic of innovation in health care.


Throughout our nation's 150-year history, Canadians have proven to be remarkably innovative, but many feel the federal government is not supporting that innovative spirit by ensuring our health care system is able to meet the challenges of our growing and aging population.

Internationally, Canada is seen as a driver of innovation, but too often these improvements occur in siloes or are isolated to one region or another. If Canadian health care is to improve, the Federal government must step up to full partnership within Canada, for both medical scientific and health policy innovation.