First Ever Canada-US Health Summit Highlights Opportunities for Coordination

Cooperation on data, innovation, and privacy could improve patient outcomes

The United States and Canada face similar obstacles to improving healthcare, including the challenges brought by an aging population and cost pressures on the health system, and would greatly benefit from collaborating on solutions, a new independent summary report finds. The report highlights observations from key government officials, thought leaders, and experts from both countries around common health priorities. The report is the result of the first ever Canada-US Health Summit, held in November 2015 in Washington, DC, and sponsored by the Cross-Border Health Foundation, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Canada Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars. The Summit covered topics such as delivery system reform, health information technology, public health, regulatory cooperation, consumer engagement, and biomedical research.

The conclusion: both countries face similar obstacles to improving healthcare, including the challenges brought by an aging population and cost pressures on the health system. Healthcare innovation examples from both countries demonstrated the translatable nature of innovation beyond national borders. “National boundaries can’t confine good ideas or persistent challenges,” said Deborah Bae, Senior Program Officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “Through collaborations like the Canada-US Health Summit, we’ll start to uncover insights and share approaches that can accelerate and improve our efforts to build a Culture of Health.”The report underscores the critical and enduring nature of the Canada-US relationship, highlighted by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent visit to Washington, DC. Healthcare innovation examples from both countries demonstrated the translatable nature of innovation beyond national borders. There is a great opportunity for the two nations to build upon common cultural ties to support a culture of health and to provide leadership in achieving healthier populations

For the full report, click here.

Danielle Peters