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Minister of Health Announces $81M Initiative to Increase Access to Health Research Data

By April 24, 2019April 29th, 2019No Comments

Responding effectively to health challenges, such as the opioid crisis currently gripping Canada, requires research data. Data helps us understand the nature and underlying causes of a problem and evaluate the effectiveness of our attempts to intervene and solve it.

Furthermore, in a country as big and diverse as Canada, where health problems do not respect provincial and territorial boundaries, solutions require collective action that crosses jurisdictions.

Today, while meeting with researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC), the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, announced a new $81M initiative that will make it easier for researchers to access and analyze health research data.

The Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) Canadian Data Platform is a seven-year, $81.35M investment with contributions from several partners. This groundbreaking initiative is a single portal through which researchers will be able to request access to a multitude of administrative, clinical, and social data from various sources from across the country.

Up to now, accessing and using multi-jurisdictional data has been a challenge because of differences in the requirements for requesting and accessing data and in the data themselves. The new data platform will help foster an environment where researchers can address questions that cross boundaries and more easily build on the work of their peers, leading to the kinds of advances that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.

Dr. Kim McGrail, a professor at the UBC School of Population and Public Health, will lead the new data platform, alongside a team made up of representatives from across Canada.