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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 - August 1996

IMS CANADA issued a report that says disease state management (DSM), an integrated approach to health care delivery, is on its way to Canada. The report suggests DSM programs offer a competitive advantage to drug manufacturers who use them to supplement their products with a health-promoting service, and that Canadian companies cannot afford to ignore the significance of this trend. Disease state management represents a philosophical shift in the way health care is delivered and evaluated. DSM programs developed as a response to the shortcomings of the existing model of health care delivery -- a model that managed each component of care separately. The new approach takes the concept of improving cost, quality and access to care a step further, by focusing on chronic, costly and common medical conditions. Clinical data support the value of patient education, improved communication among the patient and health care providers, and active management of medical and pharmaceutical care in improving health outcomes for many chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease and asthma. By considering all the elements of care in an integrated fashion, rather than each one in isolation, patients can better manage their overall disease state.

STATISTICS CANADA has reported that the average length (1994/95) of stay in acute-care hospitals without long term beds has dropped to 6.6 days from a high of 9.6 days in 1987/88. Total costs in these same hospitals has decreased to $2.9 billion in 1994/95 from $3.4 billion in 1992/93.

ALBERTA health authorities have refused the application made by several Edmonton area physicians to lease a portion of closed Leduc General Hospital. They had offered to pay $4.9 million over ten years to operate their Hotel de Health facility that would offer fee-for-service interventions not covered under the provinces health schedule to Albertans and alternative health care sites to Americans.

NEWFOUNDLAND'S new budget released this summer has added $2 million to the provinces current $907 million health care budget. Finance Minister, Paul Dicks indicated that user fees would become a fact of life for most Newfoundland's citizens. Newfoundland is one of 3 provinces, including Manitoba and Nova Scotia that continue to battle with the federal government over user fees. Together these three provinces have lost $600,000 in transfer payments as a result of their defiance of the federal government. Alberta had been part of this group, but reneged in July of this year after having lost $3.6 million in transfer payments.

ONTARIO's provincial nurses union has presented their vision of a cost-effective health care system. The Integrated Delivery System model they are proposing would be publicly owned and funded, and accountable under the Canada Health Act. It would be governed by the community, but guided by standards and guidelines set out by the province. Decisions on allocation of resources would be determined by needs-based planning and evidence of outcomes and effectiveness.

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