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Auditor general reports shortcomings in Health Canada grants. (Health).

OTTAWA -- The Canadian Institutes of Health Research has a rigorous peer review system for selecting projects to fund but does not systematically track the results of the research, according to the federal auditor general.

The organization provided $190 million in funding to medical researchers in Canadian universities and hospitals in 2000-01, Sheila Fraser told the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health. However it did not track how quickly the money was spent and had few results measured for the operating grants program, she said.

The auditor also found inconsistent management practices in a review of Health Canada's population health programs. While the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program was well managed, the opposite was true of projects in the HIV/AIDS strategy, Fraser said. Within the Population Health Fund, she found that management did not have the proper authority to fund projects for prostate cancer research and enhanced fitness activities.

Finally, the auditor said, she examined Health Canada's role in the control of illicit drugs. Within the department, the problem is secondary to many other health issues, Fraser said. In the federal government overall, she said, the focus has been on reducing supply - law enforcement - rather than reducing demand.
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Title Annotation:Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Publication:Community Action
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Mar 18, 2002
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