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Monday, January 23, 2012

Alberta builds on leadership role in health care in Canada

John Sproule is the Senior Policy Director of the Institute of Health Economics in Edmonton, Alberta.
The Alberta government, Premier Alison Redford and Health Minister Fred Horne should be commended for their recent decision to join the Health Council of Canada.  Since the Council was formed in 2004, the Province has been represented indirectly through the participation of distinguished individual Albertans; the Government's decision to formally join the Council sends a positive signal.

Partnerships such as the Health Council are invaluable because the complex issues facing the health system can only be solved through cooperation, collaboration and learning across Canada and internationally.  Our policy forums routinely draw on expertise from around the world, and we believe Alberta has much to contribute to, and learn from, exchanges with healthcare leaders in other provinces and countries.  (The presentations from our most recent series of forums commissioned by Alberta Health Services can be accessed by clicking here)

IHE believes an important role for independent bodies is to assess and report to the public on progress in achieving the goals laid out by governments and health-care systems for improving health systems. This role is essential at the local and provincial levels, as well as on a national scale - bearing in mind that "national" does not mean "federal" in health policy in Canada, with our shared jurisdiction in health care.  

Alberta's participation in the Health Council builds on the Province's longstanding leadership role in health care;  it will enrich the health policy landscape both nationally and in Alberta.  There are great benefits from the natural experiments that can occur in our decentralized healthcare system in Canada – but the benefits will only be realized if innovations are assessed from a pan-Canadian perspective, and if learnings from new approaches are shared.  The Health Council provides a supportive vehicle for such efforts.

Alberta has been, and continues to be, a strong contributor to many national and regional health collaboration efforts.  The Province was a leader in the formation of the Canadian Institute for Health Information and the Canadian Coordinating Office for Health Technology Assessment (CCOHTA), which has evolved into the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH).  With the creation of Alberta Health Services, Alberta remains at the forefront of innovation in healthcare delivery.  The IHE firmly believes that Alberta belongs at the table in any discussion of health policy in Canada.

Key Words: Alberta, Health Council of Canada, Health Accord


  1. My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

    Health Care

  2. You've got to kidding, I have tried for the last 3 years to contact our Health Minister in Alberta and all I is an administrative assistance who they replace and then their government email address in no longer available, which is very frustrating. I want to implement free health care for seniors right across the board, for free physio,chiropractic,acupuncture and all the other services.