Medical technologies are an important component of medical
care and can provide significant positive benefits to patients.
Medical technologies can advance the identification and
treatment of disease, can provide for more comfortable
treatment regimes and reduce pain, offer new treatment options
for ill individuals where none previously existed, and can
provide a safer environment for both patients and providers
fortunate enough to have access to them. In many cases, medical
technologies can accomplish these improvements cost
effectively, and in some cases can reduce costs while improving
outcomes. So how good is Canada's health care system at
ensuring that patients have high-tech health care available to
This study measures the quality and quantity of Canada's
stock of advanced medical technologies relative to what is
available and being delivered in other developed nations. The
study begins with a discussion of the benefits and cost savings
that can result from investments in medical technologies.
Section 2 reviews various international and national studies to
evaluate Canada's relative availability of medical
technologies. Section 3 analyzes data produced by the Canadian
Institute for Health Information (CIHI) to measure both the age
and sophistication of this country's medical technologies.
Section 4 discusses a survey undertaken for this research paper
that measures the stock of cutting-edge medical technologies in
Canada's five largest cities. The final section discusses the
findings reported in the previous sections and offers policy
recommendations that would improve access to advanced medical
technologies for Canadians. A conclusion follows.