Health Care Innovation Working Group

The Health Care Innovation Working Group (HCIWG) is composed of provincial and territorial Ministers of Health. The HCIWG focuses on innovation to enhance provincial and territorial capacity in order to better meet existing and emerging challenges in our health care systems.

Canada’s health care systems need to remain sustainable and to ensure quality health services for all Canadians in the face of challenges such as chronic diseases, pharmaceutical costs, a growing and aging population and the disparities in health outcomes for Aboriginal peoples.

Provinces and territories continue to innovate in order to improve the effectiveness of the health care systems. Working within the constraints of declining federal share of funding for health care, provinces and territories have found ways through the HCIWG to achieve savings while improving quality and patient care. Going forward, the HCIWG will focus on using technology and innovation to improve affordability, predictability and patient care.

In July 2016, Premiers received a report on the HCIWG. The successful achievements of the working group include:

  • collaborative efforts on pharmaceuticals resulting in price reductions for 18 generic drugs (effective April 1, 2016) and negotiated price agreements for 95 brand name drugs. This work has resulted in more than $712 million in combined savings annually through the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA);
  • jurisdictions across the country are implementing models of good practice in team-based approaches for providing care;
  • promoting guidelines for treating heart disease and diabetes;
  • increasing focus and awareness of ensuring appropriate care; and,
  • creating innovative models for seniors’ care that prioritize home and community care over long-term care institutionalization.

The HCIWG was first established in 2012.


Premiers Highlight Key Justice and Social Issues
July 19, 2017

Health Care Sustainability
July 22, 2016

Health Care remains a top priority
July 17, 2015

Providing services for an aging population
July 16, 2015

Collaboration on health care achieves results for Canadians
August 28, 2014

Fact Sheet on Pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Initiatives
April 3, 2014

Canada’s Provinces and Territories Realize Real Savings in Healthcare through Collaboration
July 26, 2013

Provinces and Territories Seek Significant Cost Savings for Canadians on Generic Drugs
January 18, 2013


Leadership in Health Care: Report to Canada’s Premiers on the Achievements of the Health Care Innovation Working Group, 2013-2016
July 22, 2016

From Innovation to Action: The First Report of the Health Care Innovation Working Group
July 26, 2012