National Newswatch

TORONTO - The federal government today launched an advisory panel on health-care innovation aimed at improving the quality and cost-effectiveness of Canada's health system.

Health Minister Rona Ambrose announced the official launch of the panel in Toronto as members held their first meeting to discuss how various innovations could bring the greatest value to Canada's health-care system.

Former University of Toronto president Dr. David Naylor will chair the body, which is made up of prominent Canadians from a variety of backgrounds.

Ambrose says innovation within the health system is essential to ensure the future sustainability and quality of care for Canadians.

Over the next year, the panel will look at creative approaches being applied to health care in both Canadian jurisdictions and abroad, and recommend how Ottawa can adopt and support them.

The panel's mandate includes meeting with provincial and territorial representatives and seeking the input of Canadians and organizations with an interest in health-care innovation.

"We know more money is not the solution," Ambrose says in a statement. "It is time to get innovative and ensure our health-care system continues to improve."

Naylor says that "given the pace of technological and social change, every health-care system must innovate relentlessly to maintain quality, accessibility and affordability."

Other panel members include Dr. Cyril Frank, CEO of Alberta Innovates — Health Solutions; Medtronic president Neil Fraser; Francine Girard, dean of nursing at the Universite de Montreal; Jack Mintz and Toby Jenkins, both of the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary; Chris Power, CEO of Capital Health in Halifax; and Heather Reisman, chair and CEO of Indigo bookstores.

The Canadian Press
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