Regina, SK – August 23, 2004 – Saskatchewan’s provincial government has unveiled its first-ever comprehensive provincial strategy that is intended to help focus the province’s health research resources, and expand its capacity for health research.
The strategy was created with the help of the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF), which conducted extensive consultations with participants from the research, education, health, government and private sectors.
The government says there is widespread recognition that research must become more strategic and focused in areas where the province has a competitive advantage. The strategy identifies priority areas for research, including specific population groups, including aboriginal people and seniors; rural and remote health care delivery; health system and policy research; and determinants of health, including early childhood health issues and chronic disease prevention.
Saskatchewan has increased its direct investment in health research to $13 million annually, and invests approximately $22 million more in annual funding to the universities that is used in support of health research.
“This new focus on health research is an important step toward producing new knowledge that will address key health issues," says Dr Liz Harrison, chair of the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation’s Board. "As a lead agency in the plan, SHRF looks forward to building the many partnerships that will be needed to make it work. The good news is that we aren’t starting from scratch; Saskatchewan has many existing health research strengths and exciting opportunities to lead in niche areas.”
One of SHRF’s first priorities will be organizing a health research summit to encourage collaboration between partners in key sectors.