President & CEO, Medtech Canada’s
Medtech Canada is the national association representing Canada’s innovative medical technology (medtech) industry.
Medtech Canada is the national association representing Canada’s innovative medical technology (medtech) industry. With approximately 100 medtech companies (ranging from Canadian-owned to multinationals) as our members, Medtech Canada works closely with the federal and provincial-territorial governments, health professionals, patients, and other stakeholders to deliver a patient-centred, safe, accessible, innovative and sustainable, universal healthcare system supported by the use of medical technology.
The pandemic has highlighted shortcomings of our health care systems across Canada. Surgical and procedural wait times, health system capacity constraints, health human resource challenges, lack of medical technology adoption – all these issues existed before March 2020 but were exacerbated by the pandemic. For example, research from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) has indicated that 560,000 fewer surgeries were performed in Canada between March 2020 and June 2021 versus a similar pre-pandemic period. While governments and health care systems across Canada have recently begun to tackle these backlogs, a tremendous number of patients are still waiting, often with a highly reduced quality of life or risk of increasing health issues.
The pandemic shone a light on the critically important role that medtech plays in enabling patient care, as technologies like N95s, ventilators and different kinds of COVID-19 tests became commonly recognized. With this increased recognition, we believe that the future of medtech – both in the short and longer term – is for government (both federal and provincial) and health system decision-makers to work collaboratively with the medtech industry to utilize solutions offered that can help address the surgical and procedural backlogs issues facing Canadian health care, increase the efficiency of our health care systems across the country and improve patient care.
Working together, we can transform Canadian health care to make it increasingly patient-centred, more receptive to innovation, and ultimately, improve our health care system’s capacity to better delivery to Canadians when they need it.
To highlight some of these opportunities presented by medtech, our association has launched a microsite (medtechinnovation.ca/medtech-solutions), which showcases stories from medtech companies about how their technologies and solutions can contribute to the backlog and efficiency challenges at this critical juncture in Canadian health care. The stories provide examples such as rapid diagnostics improving care at community hospitals, medtech’s role in enabling same-day procedures, remote technologies that enable patients to be able to receive care closer to home and many more.
Despite the current challenges, I’m very optimistic that, working together, we can transform Canadian health care to make it increasingly patient-centred, more receptive to innovation, and ultimately, improve our health care system’s capacity to better delivery to Canadians when they need it.