Investments in Health Care & Innovation Move in Right Direction

OTTAWA, June 7, 2011 /CNW/ -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, there continues to be a need to extend 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". Such investments will help to create jobs, improve environmental standards, increase efficiency and cost savings, attract talent, and improve care. 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 the generation of health research and the early adoption of applied health system innovations - which are essential in stretching each public dollar further while improving health outcomes. Members also play a crucial role along the health research-innovation-commercialization continuum.

"Recognizing our economic challenges, 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 - and the expiration of the 2004 Health Accord - the Association looks forward to advancing a public dialogue on the role of the federal government in health, health care, research and innovation and their contributions to improving system performance and outcomes.

Finally, ACAHO will continue to advocate to the federal government to amend the Excise Tax Act to increase the GST rebate to 100% for hospitals, institutions, facilities and agencies. As it stands, the GST removes $300 million annually of federal funding from the health system, and over $1.7 Billion over the last 5 years.

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.

ACAHO Vision
To advance patient care and the health & well-being of Canadians through research discovery and innovation.

ACAHO Mission
To create an environment in which research discovery, innovation and learning benefit patients, populations, health systems and the economy.

SOURCE ASSOCIATION OF CANADIAN ACADEMIC HEALTHCARE ORGANIZATIONS

For further 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: raffoul@acaho.org

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ASSOCIATION OF CANADIAN ACADEMIC HEALTHCARE ORGANIZATIONS

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