Minister Ambrose Launches Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation

Dr. David Naylor named head of federal advisory panel that will explore how the Government of Canada can foster innovation, improve patient care and sustainability of the healthcare system

TORONTO, June 24, 2014 /CNW/ - Health Minister Rona Ambrose today officially launched her new Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation.

The Minister named Dr. David Naylor to chair the panel, which is made up of prominent Canadians from across the country providing a range of perspectives and expertise. The other members are: Cy Frank, Neil Fraser, Francine Girard, Toby Jenkins, Jack Mintz, Chris Power, and Heather Reisman.

Establishing the panel is an important step by the Government to foster the kinds of innovation that improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of our healthcare system. At the panel's first meeting today, Minister Ambrose and the panel members discussed the tremendous potential of innovation, and the role the panel will play in highlighting areas of innovation that could bring the greatest value to Canada's healthcare system.

Healthcare spending across Canadian jurisdictions has stabilized in recent years after an extended period of growth. There is an emerging consensus that more money is not the solution; rather jurisdictions are seeking better value for the healthcare dollar. Federal health transfers are now on a long-term growth track that is fiscally responsible and provides financial certainty for provinces and territories as they plan to address their health needs.

Over the course of the next year, the panel will take a focused look at the many creative ideas and approaches that exist in Canada and abroad, identify those that hold the greatest promise for Canada, and offer its recommendations on how the federal government can support them. The work of the panel will be evidence-based, and will respect jurisdictional roles as well as Canada's core healthcare values.

Minister Ambrose and her officials have been discussing healthcare innovation with the provinces and territories since last October's meeting of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Health. The panel will focus its recommendations on potential federal actions, complementing provincial and territorial efforts to improve their health systems. To this end, the panel will meet with representatives from the provinces and territories throughout the process. The panel will also actively seek the views of Canadians and organizations with an interest in healthcare innovation.

More information on the panel's engagement process, including how Canadians can participate, will be released in the coming months.

Quick Facts

  • The Government of Canada is committed to a strong, publicly funded healthcare system, guided by the Canada Health Act.
  • Canada currently spends 11.2% of its Gross domestic product (GDP) on healthcare, up from 7% in 1975.  Among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, Canada's system is the fifth most expensive in terms of its share of GDP.
  • Innovation is critical if the healthcare system is to continue delivering the high quality care Canadians expect. Jurisdictions across Canada are working to spur innovation, and their efforts are starting to pay off.  Now is the time to take stock, and consider how the Government of Canada can best support further progress.
  • The Government of Canada is the single largest contributor to health research in Canada by providing almost $1 billion every single year. This funding supports nearly 13,000 researchers across the country working on more than 10,000 different projects.


"Healthcare innovation is essential to ensure the future sustainability and quality of healthcare for Canadians. This Panel is made up of some of Canada's best minds who will bring a broad range of perspectives, and with a renowned Canadian leader and health researcher Dr. David Naylor as the Chair."
Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health

"As Health Minister, I am committed to finding ways to harness the tremendous potential of innovation and ultimately improving the healthcare system for Canadians. We know more money is not the solution. It is time to get innovative and ensure our healthcare system continues to improve. I look forward working with Dr. Naylor and all of the Panel members."
Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health

"Given the pace of technological and social change, every healthcare system must innovate relentlessly to maintain quality, accessibility and affordability. I'm therefore honoured to chair a panel that has been asked to consider how innovation can be harnessed to make Canadian healthcare more sustainable and responsive."
Dr. David Naylor
Chair, Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation

Related Products

Biographical Notes for Dr. David Naylor and Panel members

Terms of Reference for Advisory Panel

Speaking Notes for the Honourable Rona Ambrose Minister of Health - Address to the Economic Club of Canada - The Economics of Healthcare and the Need for Innovation

Health Canada news releases are available on the Internet at:


SOURCE: Health Canada

For further information:


Michael Bolkenius
Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose 
Federal Minister of Health
(613) 957-0200

Health Canada
Media Relations
(613) 957-2983

Public Inquiries:
(613) 957-2991
1-866 225-0709


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