Transforming Canada into a Global Centre for Medical Device Innovation and Adoption

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Medical devices are a diverse group of products used to enhance the quality of patient care by restoring function, and aiding in the diagnosis, prevention, treatment and management of diseases and disabilities. Medical devices range from low-risk supplies such as bandages and thermometers to innovative imaging devices and drug eluting stents. Devices play an important role in modern health care. They improve treatment outcomes and promote less invasive procedures, reduce patient recovery time, shorten the length of hospital stays, reduce costs and enhance health system sustainability.

Canada pays a large price for publicly funded healthcare. In 2010, the combined spending on health care of the public and private sector in Canada was more than $191.6 billion1. This amounted to 11.7% of Canada’s total gross domestic product (GDP). Hospitals account for the largest proportion of health expenses ($55.3 billion), followed by drugs ($31.1 billion) and physician services ($26.3 billion). In 2009, growth in national healthcare costs were 1.56 times greater than the growth of the nation’s GDP2. Canada continues to spend an increasing percentage of its wealth on health care while the demands for services continue to grow along with the costs of healthcare service delivery.

1Canadian Insitute for Health Information. Health care spending to reach $192 billion this year. 2010. [accessed 2011 May 20]; Available from: http://www.cihi.ca/cihi-extportal/internet/en/document/spending+and+health+workforce/spending/release_28oct10
2 Conference Board of Canada. Healthy Provinces, Healthy Canadians: A Provincial Benchmarking Report; 2006.