06/27/2012 11:01 EDT | Updated 08/27/2012 05:12 EDT

Ottawa earmarks $238M for health data research

The federal government is renewing its funding partnership with the Canadian Institute for Health Information and investing $238 million in it over the next three years.

CIHI is a non-profit corporation that provides data on issues such as the performance of Canada's health care systems, health-care costs and spending, factors that affect the health of Canadians, and health human resources.

It is funded by the federal, provincial and territorial governments and was set up in 1994. The last funding agreement with Health Canada over the last five years was up for renewal this year. Ottawa is responsible for nearly 85 per cent of CIHI's annual budget.

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said Wednesday that the continued investment from Ottawa will help fund research that provides accurate data about the state of health care in Canada.

"While we respect provincial and territorial jurisdiction, we can show leadership at the federal level by funding an organization like CIHI, to make sure we're measuring results in the same way across the country," Aglukkaq said in a news release. "Sharing the results with Canadians helps increase transparency and accountability in health care."

The chair of CIHI's board of directors, Dr. Brian Postl, said the organization is grateful for the funding and that it will allow it to continue work that helps improve the health system and the health of Canadians.

CIHI's annual budget is about $115 million and it employs about 750 people.