On November 19, 2016, CIHI’s president and CEO David O’Toole signed a statement committing CIHI to several activities to address the national opioid crisis. The joint statement was signed at the Opioid Conference and Summit in Ottawa.

Hosted by the federal Minister of Health, the Honourable Jane Philpott, and the Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, the Honourable Eric Hoskins, the event brought together representatives from Health Canada, several provinces and territories, and health care organizations and associations, as well as families and patients directly affected by opioid use. The objective of the Opioid Conference and Summit was to identify specific actions to address the growing opioid crisis in Canada.  

Commitment statement

CIHI commits to the following:

As a matter of priority, continuing to contribute to the development of a pan-Canadian prescription opioid surveillance system and to the national evidence base on opioid use and related harms. To that end:

  • By November 2017: Developing key metrics on the prevalence, consumption and harms of opioid misuse and to publicly report on an ongoing basis
    • The number of people receiving opioids per 1,000 population;
    • The number of defined daily doses (DDDs) of opioids per 1,000 population;
    • The number of hospital admissions due to opioid poisonings; and
    • The number of emergency department visits due to opioid poisonings.
  • By August 2017: Collaborating with provincial/territorial chief coroners and medical examiners to release recommendations for the investigation and reporting of drug-related deaths. These recommendations will improve the quality of data collection and will increase the Canadian evidence base on the use and harms of opioids.
  • By November 2018: Begin to publicly report on an ongoing basis the number of opioid-related deaths.

CIHI looks forward to working with provincial partners and other organizations to provide data in order to better understand the use of opioids in Canada and prevent harms.