In an article published yesterday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) Richard Alvarez, Infoway President, claims that “the year long-freeze on federal funding has compromised plans to rollout initiatives designed to improve physician uptake of electronic records”. He further states in the article that “This will do nothing to improve Canada’s status as an international EHR laggard”.
Nearly a year ago the federal gov’t committed an additional $500M in funding for Infoway as part of larger stimulus package. Commenting on the federal government’s delay in meeting this commitment, Mr. Alvarez states in the article “I don’t want to undermine things by saying that the squeaky wheel always gets oil first, but quite frankly when governments are faced with long waits in certain areas for treatment, that becomes a loud noise. And so, some of the issues that are truly transformational in terms of patient safety, in terms of improving the efficiency, tend to get forgotten.”
I have long been an advocate for continued funding for Canada Health Infoway. What are your views on the matter? What has been the impact on EHR / eHealth progress in Canada from the delay in Infoway funding?