Advisory panel on healthcare innovation

July 17, 2015

The Panel is pleased to release its report Unleashing Innovation: Excellent Healthcare for Canada. The report is the culmination of a year of consultation, discussion, reflection and deliberation on healthcare innovation in Canada. The Panel would like to thank the hundreds of Canadians who provided us with their views and guided us in our work. The report is dedicated to the memory of our fellow panellist Dr. Cy Frank, a friend and colleague who passed away in March.

Links to the report and executive summary are found below.


Canadians benefit from a healthcare system that provides access to high quality care, supports good health outcomes, and contributes to a healthy and productive workforce.

Innovation is critical if the healthcare system is to continue delivering the high quality care Canadians expect at a cost that is affordable to society. This means breaking down barriers, tapping into creative minds, and working collaboratively to make better use of existing resources to improve services and outcomes for patients.

The Minister of Health has struck a time-limited Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation. The Panel will:

  • Identify the five most promising areas of innovation in Canada and internationally that have the potential to sustainably reduce growth in health spending while leading to improvements in the quality and accessibility of care.
  • Recommend the five ways the federal government could support innovation in the areas identified above.

UPDATE: 1 June 2015

The Panel is pleased to say that its final report has been drafted and is currently undergoing final review and editing. The report will be released in July, once production and translation have been completed. The Panel is looking forward to the launch. The report will be available through this website when it is made public.

UPDATE: 9 March 2015

It was with great sadness and regret that members of the Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation learned of the sudden passing on March 5th of our dear colleague and fellow panelist, Dr. Cyril Frank. The panel members extend our heartfelt condolences to Cy's family as well as to his countless friends and colleagues across Canada and around the world.

Cy Frank was one of the most admired figures in Canadian healthcare and health research. Chief Executive Officer of Alberta Innovates - Health Solutions, Dr Frank also found time to be Chief Medical Advisor to Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute, the McCaig Professor of Joint Injury and Arthritis Research at the University of Calgary, and a practising orthopaedic surgeon. As that range of activities illustrates, Cy was truly a healthcare polymath.

We will not recapitulate here the summaries of Cy Frank's remarkable career that have been published along with many tributes in recent days.Instead, we would simply observe that the tributes consistently highlight three themes: the enormous contribution that Cy Frank made to health research and healthcare delivery in Canada; our collective loss, given all the creative energy that Cy continuing to bring to healthcare challenges in Alberta and across the nation; and the personal affection and deep respect that so many felt for Cy.

Just days before his unexpected death, Cy Frank had been in top form on a panel visit to Yellowknife and Whitehorse. Then, at a meeting in Edmonton, Cy elevated our discussions with his unique combination of vision, common sense, and irrepressible optimism about a better future for healthcare in Canada. We all sense acutely that our task has become both more challenging and less enjoyable without Cy at the table.

At the same time, we remain deeply grateful and humbled that our panel had the opportunity to benefit from Cy's wisdom and unique perspectives as a relentless healthcare innovator, respected clinician-researcher, and beloved teacher. We shall do our utmost to ensure that the panel's report honours the legacy of a great friend and remarkable healthcare leader.

Neil Fraser
Francine Girard
Toby Jenkins
Jack Mintz
David Naylor
Chris Power

UPDATE: 23 December 2014

Interests and Affiliations

In keeping with the Health Canada Policy on External Advisory Bodies, a summary of each Panel member's affiliations and interests has now been posted. On that topic, we extend congratulations to panelist Chris Power who will assume the role of CEO of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute in March 2015. As with all Panel members and their respective interests, careful consideration will be given to Ms. Power's role in any Panel discussions that relate to her new position.

Progress to Date

Since its appointment in June, the Panel and Secretariat have been working at an accelerating pace. We have enjoyed hearing from Canadians and stakeholders across the country, and would like to thank all of the individuals and organizations who made submissions or attended in-person consultations with the Panel.

To date, the Panel has received over 400 written submissions from stakeholders and the public; these submissions will be carefully considered in the upcoming months. As well, the Panel has met with several pan-Canadian organizations, with key informants in Halifax, Regina, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Toronto, and with national stakeholders in Ottawa. All these discussions have been very rewarding. We look forward to continuing our work in the 2015, when we will continue to consult in Canada and internationally.

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