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News Release

Mixed Messages in Budget 2006
for Health Care

May 3, 2006 -- For Immediate Release-

Ottawa - Research Canada: An Alliance for Health Discovery supports the position of the federal government in Budget 2006 in viewing the key role of research in improving productivity, ensuring a rising standard of living and strengthening health care. As the publicly funded health system is a competitive advantage for Canadian businesses, it is important to support the health research that will keep it affordable, efficient and leading edge.

"While Research Canada is pleased with the two year commitment to health research funding, we are disappointed in the $17 million increase in budget allocated annually to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)", said Dr. David Hill, Research Canada Chair and Scientific Director of the Lawson Health Research Institute. "Without adequate funding for health research, not only is Canada at risk of losing ground in our research, our innovation and our ability to compete globally, but also of losing our best and our brightest young researchers. The smaller-than-expected budget increases in 2006 will jeopardize the positive investment in health innovation that has gone before. We are still not using our intellectual resources to their full advantage in Canada."

If Canada is to realize its potential, as a nation, it must invest in the research that will result in the innovations, which will be our competitive edge in a fast-paced global economy. Therefore, while Research Canada supports the new Conservative Government in its efforts to set a new standard and to be fiscally responsible, the proposed accountability process should not stem the critical work under way nor impede future innovations.

"The health research community puts Canadians first by taking responsibility for both its strategic direction and its accountability to the people of Canada," said Deborah Gordon-El-Bihbety, President and CEO, Research Canada. "We believe that when governments spend better on health research then they will spend less on health care."

Research Canada: An Alliance for Health Discovery is a not-for-profit, voluntary organization. Working for Canadians, our membership is drawn from all sectors and is dedicated to making health research an investment in Canada's future.


Information: Ms. Patricia Coghlin
(613) 234-5129

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