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Federal Policy in Health

Canadian Institute of Health Research

Dr. Mary Hannah, an expert in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, at a press conference announcing findings of a study funded completely by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).The Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) was established in 2000 and has become Canada's premier federal agency for health research. The CIHR's objective is to create new knowledge and apply this knowledge into improved health care for Canadians. The CIHR is organized through a network of 13 "virtual" institutes—instead of centralized facilities with separate buildings and agencies, the virtual organizations combine researchers in hospitals, universities and research centres. This allows for innovative information sharing without having to establish a costly infrastructure.

The CIHR's strategy focuses on integration and cooperation. Health research, according to CIHR, allows for coalescence between many different fields. Robotics, genetics, proteomics, nanotechnology, information technology, telecommunications, mathematics, managerial expertise and the humanities all contribute to health research. The combination of these divergent fields under the banner of health research allows for innovation and idea sharing that could drastically change health care.

In 2003, health is the largest sector of the knowledge-based economy in Canada, making more than $100 billion annually and providing jobs for thousands of Canadians. Numerous experts believe that health will be the premier field for economic growth in the 21st century. The Canadian government is equally aware of the potential in health industries and continues to contribute substantial amounts of money to health sciences.

The CIHR is made up of the following divisions

  • Aboriginal Peoples' Health
  • Aging
  • Cancer Research
  • Circulatory and Respiratory Health
  • Gender and Health
  • Genetics
  • Health Services and Policy Research
  • Human Development, Child and Youth Health
  • Infection and Immunity
  • Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis
  • Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction
  • Nutrition, Diabetes, and Medicine
  • Population and Public Health.

The partnership of these divisions creates a coalition that covers the spectrum of health related issues in Canada.

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