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July 26, 2012
For immediate release

Premiers Drive Health Innovation

Premier's Office

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HALIFAX - Premiers received the report of the Council of the Federation Working Group on Health Care Innovation, From Innovation to Action. The working group, chaired by Premier Wall and Premier Ghiz and composed of all provincial and territorial health ministers, was established in January.

This work focuses on practical innovations that each province and territory can put to use to enhance patient care and improve value for taxpayers. The recommendations presented today to Premiers, that provinces and territories intend to implement as they deem appropriate to their health care system, include: 

- promoting the adoption of clinical practice guidelines for treating heart disease and diabetes;

- pursuing a number of team based models to increase access for Canadians, such as the Collaborative Emergency Centres Model and other models listed in the report;

- sharing information on health human resources management and supply;

- improving communication about health human resources labour markets; and

- having the Working Group monitor the progress made on the initiatives contained in this first report.

Premiers Ghiz and Wall agreed to continue leading the working group for the next phase of work, which will include:

- expanding work on clinical practice guidelines to ensure patients are accessing the most up-to-date, evidence-informed treatments;

- accelerating and expanding the Pan-Canadian pricing alliance work on brand name drugs;

- identifying three to five generic drugs to include in a provincial/territorial Competitive Value Price Initiative that will result in better prices for generic drugs;

- initiate a national competitive bidding process by Fall 2012 that would result in lower prices taking effect as soon as possible;

- recommending three more team model approaches from across the country (potentially in the areas of seniorsí health, Aboriginal health and mental health);

- identifying and sharing applied continuous improvement principles to achieve efficiency in the delivery of health care services; and

- ensuring patients are receiving the best care available based on up to date information by reviewing the appropriateness of certain tests and procedures, for example, the Canadian Association of Radiologists notes that 10-20% of medical imaging tests may be unnecessary.

Premiers thank the Working Group and their partners including the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Nursesí Association and the Health Action Lobby for their collaborative work on this initiative over the past six months and look forward to a progress report in advance of the 2013 summer meeting of the Council of the Federation.

Report: From Innovation to Action: The First Report of the Health Care Innovation Working Group

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Media Contact: Island Information Service
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