Monday, December 18, 2006

Health Research - an avenue for Windsor?

With an empty former Grace Hospital site, an expanding Medical School and a struggling auto-sector, Health Research presents an excellent opportunity for the long sought diversification of the Windsor region's economy.

Today's guest editorial in the Windsor Star highlights how little is currently being done in this field currently and the opportunities that exist.
No dollars, little cents

Dr. Ronald G. Worton, Special to The Windsor Star
Published: Monday, December 18, 2006

Research Canada: An Alliance for Health Discovery, launched the results of a national public opinion survey by Environics Research Group on health research in Canada. The Canada Speaks 2006 survey demonstrates that Canadians place a high value on health research. The survey revealed that 91 per cent of Canadians want the government to invest more money in health research -- an overwhelming mandate for any government.

Despite the profound importance of health research, less than one cent of every health dollar is invested in health research. When told that in the survey, 85 per cent of Canadians said that it's not enough. Further, a majority said that they were willing to pay out of their own pockets to fund new health research projects.

Canadians want Canada to be a global leader in health research and see a strong federal role in support of such research. Ninety-one per cent of Canadians want the federal government to invest more in basic science related to health, even if it brings them no immediate benefit. Canadians also recognize the important role industry plays in health research -- 83 per cent of Canadians say that the federal government should have tax policies and regulations that encourage private industries to conduct more health-related research.

This is certainly an area that Windsor could aggressively pursue. Don't stand in line begging for Federal/Provincial money. Find ways to encourage and grow Health Research in Windsor.

With a large number of immigrant medical professionals residing in this area, this could be a potential short to medium term employment option that would utilize their skills and knowledge.

Think outside the box. Lets not wait for someone else to lead the way.