Stepping up: funding healthcare innovation
Against the backdrop of Federal Health Accord negotiations, the future of Canada’s healthcare funding is naturally taking centre stage. Proposed reductions to annual increases in health transfer payments are meeting with strong resistance from Provinces and Territories, particularly in the face of rising costs and the demands of an aging population. Yet, encouragingly there does appear to be federal funding appetite to support targeted programs that tackle system challenges and strengthen healthcare for all Canadians through innovative approaches and ‘doing business differently.’
An important piece of the challenge in shifting conventional thinking is to examine how healthcare is funded. Linking funding to accountability for better care delivery and improved health outcomes is only just emerging in the Canadian landscape. As observed in a recent Globe and Mail article, “in Canada, the health-care debate is too often about money, and not often enough about improving the delivery and quality of health services, and that’s one of the main reasons that the system remains mired in mediocrity”.