Trevor Hancock is a professor and senior scholar at the University of Victoria’s school of public health and social policy
I have worked in public health for most of my adult life, and am proud of my chosen profession. Not to be confused – as it often is – with publicly funded health care, public health is focused on keeping people healthy, protecting them from harm and preventing disease, injury and disability.
To be sure, we do not garner the headlines of the more flashy and usually over-hyped ‘medical miracles’; nobody ever wrote a headline about the 100 cases of an infection or cancer that did not happen. But the work we do is vitally important – at least as important as the latest ‘life-saving’ technology or drug. ...continue reading
Douglas W. Zochodne is a professor in the Division of Neurology and the Department of Medicine at the University of Alberta
...an excessive concern with useful problems, regardless of their relation to existing knowledge and technique, can so easily inhibit scientific development. Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
Fundamental bioscience has suffered a severe crisis of confidence in Canada. No longer accepted as the bedrock, or starting point, in the innovative journey, recruitment of new basic sciences faculty is down and funding has been dramatically attenuated in real dollars. In 2000, those who conceived of and planned CIHR proposed a working budget of $1B CAD within 5 years of inception. This level of funding was higher than Medical Research Council (MRC) allocation but below funding levels in the USA, and represented a very tiny fraction of Canadian health care spending. However, this funding support simply did not materialize; it remained at about 30% below the proposed level in absolute dollars, at best. Since then, rises in grant support have not kept pace with inflation. Budgets are flat ...continue reading