Canada boosts electronic health record system spending by $500 million

    TORONTO, Jan. 28 /CNW/ - Implementation of electronic health record (EHR)
systems will continue to progress across Canada thanks to the investment of
$500 million contained in the 2009 Federal Budget, announced Richard Alvarez,
President and CEO, Canada Health Infoway (Infoway).
    "The Government of Canada's continued financial support means every
province and territory will continue to benefit from the improved patient
safety, cost savings and increased clinical efficiencies that electronic
health record systems generate," said Alvarez. "In addition, thousands of
sustainable jobs will continue to be created throughout Canada's health and
information technology industries as a result of the government's investment."
    The $500 million investment brings the Government of Canada's total
investment in EHR systems to $2.1 billion to date.
    The federal government's support has enabled Infoway and its
jurisdictional partners to make considerable progress to date - resulting in
276 projects completed or underway across the country; there are active
projects in every province and territory.
    "These new federal dollars will ensure Canada continues to generate the
systemic innovation our health care system needs to improve care today and
ensure it remains sustainable for future generations," said The Honourable
Michael Kirby, Chair, Mental Health Commission of Canada and former Chair of
The Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, which
released The Health of Canadians - The Federal Role in 2002.
    "While we have made substantial progress to date, considerable work lies
ahead of us," added Alvarez. "We look forward to collaborating with the
provinces and territories to work towards our collective goal of providing
every Canadian with an electronic health record."

    Canada Health Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit organization
funded by the federal government. Infoway jointly invests with every province
and territory to accelerate the development and adoption of electronic health
record projects in Canada. Fully respecting patient confidentiality, these
secure systems will provide clinicians and patients with the information they
need to better support safe care decisions and manage their own health.
Accessing this vital information quickly will help foster a more modern and
sustainable health care system for all Canadians.

For further information:

For further information: Dan Strasbourg, Canada Health Infoway, (416)

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