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The following is a review of developments affecting health care in Canada

The information is updated the first week of every month - so ... make this a regular stop in your information gathering activities.

The following information has been compiled from publicly available sources, StratCom does not assume any responsibility for the accuracy or the authenticity of the information and StratCom cannot be held liable for errors.

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Healthcare in Canada - January 1998

The Arthritis Society of Ontario will establish a new research facility that will accelerate the search for a cure for arthritis. Founded by The Arthritis Society of Ontario, in partnership with The University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine, The Toronto Hospital Foundation, and the Conn Smythe Foundation, the centre will be known as the University of Toronto Arthritis Centre of Excellence (ACE) at The Toronto Hospital. Each partner has donated $1.2 million in funding to establish ACE. Experts from the fields of rheumatology, orthopedic surgery and immunology will collaborate in their efforts to determine the causes of arthritis.

The Canadian Blood Bank Corporation (CBB), a private sector blood bank providing services for 10-year storage of autologous blood has completed construction of the CBB clinic in Cambridge, Ont. and the clinic is expected to begin operations in March, subject to receipt of applicable regulatory approvals. Clinics in Mississauga and Winnipeg are under construction and are expected to begin services this spring. The company currently operates a clinic in St. John's, Nfld.

The Bank of Montreal has presented the Vancouver Hospital and Health Sciences Centre with a $350,000 donation for its Brain Research Centre, a neuroscience research facility that will open later this year. The Centre will bring together clinical and research neuroscientists in an attempt to unlock the mysteries of the brain and obtain a better understanding of the functions that govern neurological disease. The University of B.C. will be partners with the Hospital in the Centre.

The Executive Committee of the Medical Research Council has approved 216 operating grants totaling $47.5 million over five years, for researcher in universities, research institutes and hospitals across Canada. Of the applications approved , 140 were for new projects ranging from research in population health to the molecular biology of various diseases. As well, 76 ongoing projects were renewed. The results of this competition represent the lowest funding rate in MRC's history, said Dr. Henry Friesen, President of the MRC ``Because of the Council's reduced budget, it was able to fund only a fraction of the highly meritorious projects in our great institutions and hospitals.'' To accommodate the largest possible number of projects within the MRC budget, Council reluctantly cut the amount awarded to each grant by an average of 26 percent of the amount recommended by the Council's committees. The average annual value of operating grants was $60,210 for new projects and $78,984 for renewed projects.

Ontario Health Minister Elizabeth Witmer has announced an investment of $6.1 million for a series of initiatives that aim to improve access to health services for people in London and surrounding areas. ``This announcement reflects our government's rebalancing of the health system to improve front-line patient care,'' Witmer said. ``We are investing in community-based services because many treatments that once required a hospital stay can now be done at home or elsewhere in the community. The $6.1 million includes: $3 million to the London Health Sciences Centre for a project that includes two innovative ways of treating hemodialysis patients at home; $2.2 million to upgrade Marian Villa, a long-term care facility, including improvements to the nurse call system and wheelchair access; and $524,750 to the Elgin Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) and $387,649 to the London-Middlesex CCAC to expand and enhance visiting nursing, therapy and homemaker services to benefit more than 420 people.

In addition, 190 Ontario hospitals will receive the first installment of a five-year, $2-billion commitment made by the government in the 1997 budget to support hospital restructuring. Most Ontario hospitals have begun reforming their operations, many of them voluntarily. The $154 million recognizes and supports the steps these hospitals have taken and reimburses them for one-time operating costs related to restructuring. The $2-billion fund was created in the 1997 provincial budget to assist hospitals to cover the costs of reform. Along with the government's rescheduling of the planned third year of hospital savings, the creation of the Rural Health Policy, and the reinvestment of over $350 million to date into hospital-based programs such as cardiac and cancer services, it is designed to ensure hospitals continue to deliver top-quality front-line patient services during a period of transition.

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* Healthcare in Canada - July 1997
* Healthcare in Canada - June 1997
* Healthcare in Canada - May 1997
* Healthcare in Canada - April 1997
* Healthcare in Canada - March 1997
* Healthcare in Canada - February 1997
* Healthcare in Canada - January 1997
* Healthcare in Canada - December 1996
* Healthcare in Canada - November 1996
* Healthcare in Canada - October 1996
* Healthcare in Canada - September 1996
* Healthcare in Canada - August 1996
* Healthcare in Canada - July 1996
* Healthcare in Canada - June 1996

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Last modified: January 30, 1998