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Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation provides welcomed focus on patient needs

July 21, 2015 (Ottawa, ON) – The four largest pan-Canadian health organizations welcome the overall direction set by the Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation’s final report released last Friday, which they believe appropriately emphasizes patient needs. The G4, made up of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) and HealthCareCAN, is unanimous in calling for focused action on innovation in healthcare in order to achieve better quality care as recommended in the panel’s report titled, “Unleashing Innovation: Excellent Healthcare for Canada.”

The Advisory Panel recommends the creation of a Healthcare Innovation Fund with the objectives of supporting high-impact initiatives, breaking down barriers to change and accelerating the adoption of promising innovations.

The report provides important direction for government to follow in a number of key areas, especially around collaboration between providers for patient needs and enhanced engagement over the full continuum of care. “The panel’s recommendation to develop and implement a strategy to promote patient- and family-centred care in partnership with governments, patients, providers and others is fundamental to meaningful healthcare system improvement,” said CNA president Karima Velji.

The G4 echo the panel’s assessment of the rapid shifts in information technology and how “the playing field has changed, and a more integrated approach seems timely.” The report also called out serious gaps in the meaningful use of digital resources and has recommended constructive action on this front.

The G4 supports the Advisory Panel’s recommendations that governments should focus on investments in innovation on the front lines, particularly in the area of digital health. “The lack of interoperable e-health technology in Canada, such as e-prescribing, threatens patient care and safety. The Advisory Panel's recommendations on digital health would go a long way to ensuring more effective, efficient and safer care for patients,” said CPhA Chair Carlo Berardi.

In frequent occasions, the Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation’s report called attention to the disconnected patchwork models of care across the country. “It’s now time to inject strategic innovative thinking and action to address persistent nation-wide problems. The report is a good starting place,” added Bill Tholl, President and CEO of HealthCareCAN.

“There are very significant recommendations made in the report and we are pleased that the panel urged the federal government to take a more active role in planning the health care system and help galvanize consensus around structural reforms,” said Dr. Chris Simpson, president of the CMA. “This is particularly important given the growing and evolving health care needs of our aging population.”

Members of the G4 thank the members of the panel for their tremendous work and thoughtful recommendations. With direct connections to patients, families and communities, these leading provider and healthcare groups expect to work with the federal government, as well as the provinces and territories, to realize the potential envisioned by Dr. David Naylor and the panel.

About G4

Since early 2001, the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Nurses Association, the Canadian Pharmacists Association and HealthCareCAN (formerly the Canadian Healthcare Association) have collaborated as the “Group of 4” (G4) on issues of mutual concern. Our associations represent many of Canada’s frontline health professionals, managers and trustees. We share the same mission — promoting a healthy population and an effective health system.


For more information:


Marc-André Girouard, Communications Officer
613-241-8005 ext. 258


Kate Headley, Manager of Communications
Canadian Nurses Association
613-237-2159 ext. 561 - 613-697-7507


Mark McCondach, Director of Communications
Canadian Pharmacists Association
613-523-7877 ext. 285


Dominique Jolicoeur, Communications Officer
Canadian Medical Association
613-731-8610 ext. 2038