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'Critical' data gaps have greatly hampered Canadian governments' ability to face COVID-19 pandemic: report

Oct 26, 2020, 11:19 AM by The Beacon Herald
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'These data gaps and inconsistencies have led to serious shortcomings in the timeliness, completeness and quality of Canadian health care,' the report says

OTTAWA — While the provinces were trying to get a grasp of the mortality rate of the COVID-19 virus spreading throughout the country in the spring, federal officials were hitting a data wall.

In fact it could take months “and sometimes longer” for basic information, such as that contained in a death certificate, to make its way into national databases tracking COVID-19-related deaths, concludes the first annual report by the Canadian Statistics Advisory Council.

“Critical data gaps and a lack of coordinated data in Canada seriously undermine the ability of decision-makers and governments at all levels, as well as the general public, to understand and address key social, health, economic, environmental and energy issues facing Canadians,” the authors remark.

The council was put in place in 2017 by the Trudeau government to provide independent advice on how to improve and ensure the quality of Canada’s national statistics system.

Read the full article here.