NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ON, July 26, 2013 /CNW/ - The quality and
sustainability of Canada's health care systems are being improved
through the work of the Council of the Federation's Health Care
Innovation Working Group. Over the past year, the working group has
achieved a number of successes, including lowering the cost of
Effective April 1, 2013, participating provinces and territories set a
price for the six most common generic drugs, resulting in $100 million
in savings annually.
Negotiations with suppliers have been completed for 10 brand name drugs
and an additional 17 drugs are presently under negotiation. In total,
joint work on these 27 drugs will result in approximately $60-70
million savings annually.
In addition to pharmaceutical drugs, the two other significant priority
areas for the working group over the next year are appropriateness of
care and seniors care. Premiers asked the working group to examine
opportunities within the team-based model framework to increase the
important role paramedics and pharmacists play in the provision of
front line services.
There is mounting evidence that some patients receive treatments that
may not be best suited for their actual needs. That results in less
effective care for patients and wastes precious healthcare resources.
Spending on diagnostic imaging in Canada has increased significantly
and now exceeds an estimated $2.2 billion annually. According to the
Canadian Association of Radiologists, 10% to 20% of these tests may be
unnecessary. Eliminating unnecessary tests could save $220 million each
To make sure Canadians are getting the most out of their health care
systems, all participating provinces and territories agreed to adopt
guidelines as appropriate for their jurisdictions for the use of
medical imaging in minor head injuries, lower back pain and headaches.
The working group will look at appropriateness of care in other areas.
Most seniors prefer to stay in their own home for as long as they can.
Experience shows that this approach is not just better for seniors -
it's better for our health care systems. The working group will look at
successful efforts to prioritize homecare over long-term care
institutionalization and identify two to three innovative models for
provinces and territories to consider adapting.
In addition, Premiers spoke about the important issue of dementia. As
our population ages, it is increasingly becoming an area of concern for
provinces and territories. Premiers are determined to increase
awareness, address the challenges and provide opportunities to improve
early diagnosis and treatment. Premiers directed the Health Care
Innovation Working Group to examine issues related to dementia,
including identifying best practices for early diagnosis. Central to
this is raising awareness of the early warning signs and various
methods of intervention.
Premiers thanked Premier Ghiz and Premier Wall for leading health
ministers for the last 18 months and also thanked health providers for
their ongoing engagement.
Premiers Wynne, Redford and Pasloski will co-chair the Health Care
Innovation Working Group going forward. The Premiers agreed to extend
the mandate of the working group for a further three years. Québec
indicated that it intends to continue to contribute to the work of the
Health Care Innovation Working Group through sharing information and
SOURCE: Council of the Federation
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Government of Ontario