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Canada had a blueprint for an amazing health data system. We never built it.

In today’s Big Story podcast, in the late 1990s, it became clear that Canada’s health data systems would need to go digital. A thorough report was presented, the first of many to come, laying out what needed to happen for Canada to lead the world in digital health data. A national data system would track everything from outbreaks and symptoms to vaccinations and side effects. But…we never built it. Over the next 20-plus years, little was done—and nothing at all from a truly national level.

Now, when we desperately need to be able to have access to real-time data on what’s happening where, every province relies on a different system, and many of them are duct-taped together from the bones of what was supposed to be a world-leading piece of infrastructure. What happened?

GUEST: Justin Ling (Read Justin’s reporting here.)

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You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.