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'Stay the Course' Budget Offers a Few Nuggets for Research, Innovation and Families

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 02/12/14 -- The newly-merged organizations of the Canadian Healthcare Association and the Association of Canadian Academic Healthcare Organizations (CHA/ACAHO) are encouraged following yesterday's reading of the Federal Budget. However, members were hoping for more support as health research and innovation are important to Canada's prosperity and job creation.

"We understand the 'stay the course' approach taken by the Federal Government in yesterday's budget," said Chris Power and Alice Downing, Transition Board Co-Chairs. "When Canada returns to budget surplus in 2015-2016, CHA/ACAHO looks forward to working with the federal government to raise health and health research back among the government's top priorities."

In light of the goal of a balanced budget, the federal government continues to demonstrate appreciation for research and innovation. It is crucial for addressing disease and disability and managing our health care costs. Today's announcements regarding $1.5 Billion over 10 years for a new Canada First Research Excellence Fund, and $46 million per year on an ongoing basis to the granting councils including $15 Million per year for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, are important first steps.

In addition, CHA/ACAHO welcomes initiatives to support families and help seniors stay at home through a Territorial Health Investment Fund; support for caregivers through a Canadian Employers for Caregivers Plan; and increased funding to the New Horizons for Seniors Program.

In the absence of a comprehensive strategy that recognizes seniors' value to society, maintains their dignity, and ensures quality care options, CHA/ACAHO reiterates its proposal that the government create a National Commission on Seniors and Health.

"The members of CHA/ACAHO believe that the few nuggets found in yesterday's budget are a step in the right direction," noted Chris Power and Alice Downing. "We believe that the federal government can do more to improve the wellbeing of Canadians and enhance the role of research and innovation in this country."

About CHA/ACAHO

The Canadian Healthcare Association and the Association of Canadian Academic Healthcare Organizations merged on January 1, 2014, to form a new, national health organization. The new organization aims to advance an integrated, sustainable and accountable health system that provides Canadians with world-leading health services. Learn more about our solutions to health system challenges at www.cha.ca and www.acaho.org.

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