The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) has finalized its four-year strategic plan that calls for $379 million in new funding for an annual budget of $1 billion by FY07-08. The document was released earlier this month in Ottawa and caps a campaign to secure additional resources when Paul Martin brings down his first budget as prime minister.
CIHR president Dr Alan Bernstein says the call for a $1-billion budget within four years means the target of 1% of health care costs going to research won’t be realized.
“One of my concerns throughout the whole Blueprint process was that we were aiming too low in terms of dollars and in terms of vision going out to 2007,” says Bernstein. “But this is a strategic plan for today and it will obviously have to be revisited over the next few years. Every organization should do that.”
The final version of the Blueprint strategy differs little from the draft plan circulated last year (R$, September 16/03). It outlines five broad directions CIHR will follow in the coming years, including a strong emphasis on the commercialization of health research.
Bernstein says that while full implementation of the Blueprint is predicated upon receiving new funding, many of the direction it outlines are already underway.
“These are areas we are moving in to and we will continue to do that even if there is no increase in funds,” he says.