Ontario Investing $20 Million in Health Innovation

(from left to right); MPP Shafiq Qaadri‎, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Reza Moridi, Minister of Government and Consumer Services David Orazietti, and Minister of Health and Long Term Care Eric Hoskins.

Toronto – Ontario is adopting all six recommendations from the Ontario Health Innovation Council (OHIC) to support more Ontario-made health technologies, improve patient care and spur economic growth, announced David Orazietti, Minister of Government and Consumer Services.

Minister Orazietti participated in the announcement today at the MaRS Centre in Toronto, along with Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long Term Care, Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation and OHIC’s Chair and former astronaut Dr. Dave Williams.

“By focussing more on the value of health outcomes when procuring related solutions, we can ignite the market for innovative health care technology in Ontario,” said Orazietti. “We will continue to work with key stakeholders through our Innovation Procurement Initiative in order to develop a leading procurement approach for the province. Our government is committed to providing Ontarians with the best and most efficient care possible, and these initiatives will help further support patient care and facilitate long-term cost savings.”

As proposed in the 2015 Ontario budget, the government will:
· Create a dedicated Office of the Chief Health Innovation Strategist to champion Ontario as a centre for health technology innovation
· Establish a new $20 million Health Technology Innovation Evaluation Fund to support made-in-Ontario technologies
· Use newly created Innovation Broker positions to connect innovators and researchers with opportunities in the health care system
· Streamline the adoption of health care innovations across the health system
· Shift to procurement practices that focus on outcomes, such as fewer hospital readmissions and the long-term value of medical devices
· Invest in the assessment of emerging innovative health technologies to get those products to market faster

The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services is responsible for procurement operations and delivery across the Government of Ontario, and currently has two initiatives underway that directly support accelerating the recommended shift to strategic, value-based procurement.

“We recognize how important it is to implement the OHIC recommendations in order to advance the adoption of health technology innovation across Ontario,” said Orazietti. “It will create value for the health care system, increase the competitiveness of Ontario’s health technology sector, and grow Ontario’s economy.”

Investing in Ontario’s health technology innovations is part of the government’s plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, which is providing patients with faster access to the right care, better home and community care, the information they need to stay healthy and a health care system that’s sustainable for generations to come.
· OHIC delivered its report, The Catalyst, to the government in late 2014.
· Ontario is the third-largest hub for biotech and the fourth largest biomedical research centre in North America.
· Ontario’s medical devices sector employs more than 17,000 people in 900 manufacturing firms, accounting for 49 per cent of total Canadian medical devices employment.