Investments in Health System and Health Research Step in the Right Direction

    OTTAWA, March 19 /CNW Telbec/ - The Association of Canadian Academic
Healthcare Organizations (ACAHO), the national voice of the Canada's Research
Hospitals - Teaching Hospitals, Academic Regional Health Authorities and their
Research Institutes - views the federal government's 2007 Budget as a step in
the right direction.
    "Canadians see timely access to health services as fundamental. As a
result, ACAHO sees the combination of investments, including $400 million to
Canada Health Infoway, $612 million for the Patient Wait Times Guarantee
Trust, $30 million for Wait Times Guarantee Pilot Projects, $300 million for a
national program for human papillomavirus, and the creation of a Mental Health
Commission as important initiatives", said Ms. Lynda Cranston, President of
ACAHO, and President & CEO of the Provincial Health Services Authority in
British Columbia.
    However, there are concerns that the government is not moving quickly
enough to work with the provinces and members of ACAHO to enhance the overall
capacity of the health system to provide timely access to care; more needs to
be done to accelerate the expansion of the number of health care professionals
being trained, and to ensure that we have state-of-the-art facilities to
provide quality health services.
    When it comes to the health research enterprise, there are a number of
announcements that support publicly-funded science, such as $510 million to
the Canada Foundation for Innovation and $15 million for Indirect Costs. ACAHO
sees these as important investments that need to continue to grow over time.
However, the Association remains deeply concerned about the level of funding
for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and its ability to successfully
fulfill its mandate. At the same time, ACAHO recognizes the importance of
fully leveraging knowledge into economic benefit, and welcomes funding for the
centres of excellence in commercialization and research.
    ACAHO looks forward to the impending release of the government's Science
& Technology Strategy, and to making a significant contribution in this area.

    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.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Beatrice Keleher Raffoul,
Director, Government Relations, (613) 730-5818 ext 323, Cell Phone: (613)
795-4878, Fax: (613) 730-4314,

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