Competition Bureau makes recommendations for empowering Canadian health care providers in the digital era

News release

November 24, 2022 – GATINEAU, QC – Competition Bureau

In its latest market study report, the Competition Bureau provides recommendations on how to improve the ways health care providers work within Canada’s public health system.

Empowering health care providers in the digital era, is the third and final report published as part of the Bureau’s digital health care market study. The in-depth study examined how pro-competitive policies can foster innovation and bring about greater choice and access to digital health care services for Canadians.

The study found that digital health care is not being used to its full potential in Canada. In 2021, only 14% of Canadians had visited their provider virtually. Meanwhile more than 70% of physicians believe that virtual care improves patient access and enables both quality and efficient care. (sources: Canada Health Infoway; Virtual Care Taskforce)

The final report makes three recommendations to Canadian governments and policymakers to enable health care providers to take advantage of the forces of competition:

  1. Review existing health care provider payment models to support the appropriate use of digital health care.
  2. Implement licensing frameworks that allow providers, where appropriate, to practice beyond provincial and territorial borders to improve digital health care delivery.
  3. Review and modernize policies to facilitate the effective uptake of digital health care.

Empowering health care providers to use the best available digital technologies will lead to lower costs, better health care services, and improved patient outcomes. It will also spur innovation and the development of new products within the health care industry.

While the pandemic encouraged advancements in digital health care, governments across Canada must ensure that rules and regulations evolve quickly to strengthen the health care system.

Quotes

“To foster competition in the digital future, Canada’s public health care policy needs to be modernized. By facilitating greater adoption of digital health care solutions, Canadians can benefit from increased health care access, lower costs, and better health outcomes.”

Matthew Boswell
Commissioner of Competition

Quick facts

  • Earlier this year, the Bureau published two other reports as part of its market study:

  • In its advocacy role, the Bureau identifies barriers to competition in different sectors of the economy, and makes recommendations to policymakers on how to reduce these barriers.

  • Market studies allow the Bureau to examine an industry from a competition perspective to identify relevant laws, policies, regulations or other factors that may impede competition.

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