Development of Research and
Does research and/or demonstration help the governments in their decision making or are they more likely to seek guidance from the work of public inquiries or commissioned studies?
Saskatchewan was the first province to set up a Health Services Survey Commission, appointing Dr. Henry E. Sigerist as the leading commissioner.
Throughout September, 1944, he travelled through the province, consulted with scores of organizations and individuals, and worked with other members of the commission representing the medical profession, hospitals, dentists, nurses and the government. On October 4 his report was presented to the Minister of Public Health. Dr. Sigerist was not, of course, a professional health administrator and yet the realism of his report is reflected by the fact that within ten years most of his proposals were in effect. (Roemer 1960, 209)
In 1974 at a national conference on health care research, Badgley (1974) pointed out that commissioned inquiries by federal and provincial health departments were being produced in considerable numbers and were at least as important as research activity for formulating health care policy. It can be argued that commissioned reports are more likely to be used than peer reviewed research studies, which may be more innovative but are less closely connected to immediate policy development. Although a proportion of these commissioned studies are prepared by academics (e.g., Shapiro 1979), many are the work of consultancy firms (e.g., Ontario 1988-91).