Member Gov. Submissions

According to population projections, by 2041 almost 25% of Canadians will be over the age of 65 (Employment and Social Development Canada, 2011). Since the risk of dementia and neurodegenerative
disease increases with age, the number of Canadians living with these conditions will grow and there will be increasing healthcare costs (Canadian Institutes of Health Research). To prepare for this inevitability, the federal government must support the development and implementation of innovative and cost effective methods of treating the symptoms of neurodegenerative disease.

Nearly all individuals with neurodegenerative disease will experience some level of communication and/ or swallowing impairment. Without intervention, they also will experience reduced quality of life, negative health outcomes, and incur greater costs to the healthcare system. Speech-language pathologists (S-LPs) have long been providing effective, evidence-based assessment and interventions and therefore should be included in any national health innovation strategies for this population.

This submission will outline the role of S-LPs in caring for patients with neurodegenerative disease, and clarify how timely provision of S-LP services prevents admissions to hospital and delays premature admission to long term care. Finally, recommendations are provided regarding steps the government can take to support future innovations to enhance S-LP services.

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Submission from the Canadian Infant Hearing Task Force (CIHTF), a joint effort of Speech-Language and Audiology Canada (SAC) and the Canadian Academy of Audiology (CAA)

This submission aims to focus on the establishment of a national standard for EHDI programs throughout Canada. The ideal EHDI program is comprehensive, beginning with newborn hearing screening for all babies before being discharged from the hospital after birth or shortly after birth for those babies born outside of hospitals. In many developed countries, EHDI programs have become a standard of care. The United States boasts a screening rate of at least 97% of newborns. In Canada, many newborns are still not being screened depending on where they are born and therefore are not being diagnosed and enrolled in essential early intervention services.

The great disparity in services at the provincial and territorial levels is concerning. The CIHTF urges the federal government to take a leadership role and work with the provinces and territories to ensure equal access to these EHDI programs and services.

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Psychologists are Canada’s largest group of regulated, specialized mental health care providers. However their services are not funded by provincial and territorial health insurance plans. In the private sector, Canadians either pay out of pocket for psychological service or rely on the private health insurance plans provided by their employers. The coverage provided through private plans is almost always too little for a clinically meaningful amount of psychological service.

Needs for mental health services in Canada are considerable. One in Five Canadians will experience a mental health problem in a given year; the most common of which are depression and anxiety. The fastest growing category of disability costs is depression. The annual cost of mental illness to the Canadian economy is 51 billion dollars while the impact on productivity in workplace is estimated at tens of billions of dollars annually.

Canada has fallen behind other countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, the Netherlands, and Finland who have launched mental health initiatives that include covering the services of psychologists through public health systems. These initiatives are proving both cost and clinically effective. Analysis of research in the United Kingdom found that substantial returns on investments could be achieved in the early detection and treatment of common mental health conditions such as depression. While providing effective care, these costs are often offset by decreased costs to individuals, families, service systems, workplaces and economies when people have ready access to needed and effective psychological care.

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HealthCareCAN’s submission to Minister Ambrose’s Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation presents examples of innovations that will benefit all Canadians. We believe that leveraging existing pathways, engaging in strategic coordination, and ensuring sufficient strategic investment, will improve the architecture of our health innovation system. Ultimately, this will result in better care, better health, and better value for Canadians, today and into the future.

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There is a need for all Canadians to have easy access to the trusted advice of a Registered Dietitian no matter where they live or what language they speak. Dietitian call centres exist in four provinces with BC and Ontario offering the most comprehensive services. All provinces in Canada have shown an interest in providing telehealth dietitian services. There are economic advantages to delivering a pan-­‐Canadian approach accessible to all Canadians.

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Advancing indiginous health and healing

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Health is where the home is: Health aging

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Palliative approach and end-of-life care for all Canadians

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Navigating Canada's complex health systems: Deploying registered nurses

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The Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) appreciates the opportunity to provide our perspective on innovation and approaches that would contribute to improvements. We have chosen to focus on three key areas in our brief:

  • Retention of older workers
  • Addressing the clinical education bottleneck
  • Sustainable bridging programs for the successful integration of internationally educated technologists


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Given the challenges faced by health providers in meeting the needs of patients and the likelihood that Canada will not have the means to increase its human resource capacity to address unmet mental health needs in the near term, evidence-informed alternatives must be acted upon today. In Australia, it has been estimated that a cumulative $9 billion (in today’s dollars) would have to be added to Australia’s health spend over 15 years (assuming service stays exactly as it is today) to meet the projected cumulative increase in the use of mental health services over the same period. This has been described as unrealistic and has prompted a reflection on how that country can more appropriately meet the unmet mental health needs of its citizens.

Investments in a range of upstream, behavioral and psychological interventions focused on prevention and health promotion for mild to moderate symptoms, which use information and communication technology (ICT), have great potential to improve value for money in our health system over the long run given projected population needii, the growing burden of poor mental health, and given our current underutilization of available mental health human resources in Canada.

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Since 2010, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has been calling for health care transformation in Canada to better meet the needs of Canadians. A high performing health care system must be able to respond to the changing nature of its population’s health needs.

The CMA believes that seniors care is the paramount health care issue of our time. Our older population will double over the next 20 years, while the 85 and older group is set to quadruple. Currently, we spend almost half of all our health care dollars on seniors. Improving seniors’ care will go a long way to fixing our health care system; this is because strategies to address the needs of this population can be leveraged to address the needs of other population groups. That is why CMA has called for the development of a Pan-Canadian Seniors Strategy as a necessary first step.

The CMA welcomes the creation of the Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation to better prepare health systems across the country for the above challenges and to contribute toward the sustainability of Canada’s public finances and social programs. This brief identifies five important innovations that will not only benefit Canada’s growing seniors population but the broader Canadian population as well.

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The AFMC welcomes the opportunity to inform the Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation and we believe that our imperative must be to identify the innovations for better health and healthcare of our senior population that will ensure the sustainability of our healthcare system.

We will provide evidence-informed examples of innovations within our Academic Health Science Networks that have led to

  • Reduced use of diagnostics
  • Reduced use of pharmaceuticals
  • Reduced hospitalizations and length of stay

And suggest that Canada can create a sustainable healthcare system by

  • Sharing and transfer of knowledge for better health, care and cost containment
  • Creating a learning health system with ongoing feedback on impact
  • Strong Federal leadership in establishing accountability for health and healthcare of Canadians


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The Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) supports new ideas and opportunities to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Canadian health services. In fact, creativity is often the solution to the impossible when pursuing enhanced outcomes on constrained budgets. Notwithstanding, there are significant and complex factors related to practice, structure and culture that prohibit clear-cut solutions for the delivery of cost-effective, comprehensive, quality care that present barriers to innovation. Successful, sustainable innovations require a combination of: imagination to meet a consumer (or patient) need; design to fit within a complex healthcare ecosystem; and strategy to uncover the shared values and needs of the participants of the system. The CPA submission to the Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation will focus on innovative models that feature the role of physiotherapy in improving patient flow and maximizing system resources for better health outcomes.

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