Last gasp for the Canadian Health Network

Canadians are about to lose a valuable health information resource – and you can help to save it.

The Canadian Health Network ( Canada’s leading web-based source for health information is slated for closure on March 31, 2008 – even though the Federal Government has a surplus.

The Canadian Health Network (CHN) is designed for Canadians, offering material in both national languages and in the many other languages spoken in this country. It provides a broad range of resources tailored to population groups such as aboriginal peoples, women, children and seniors.

Nearly 400,000 people per month make use of more than 20,000 items, and the number of visitors to the CHN website has grown steadily since it was created in 1999, increasing by 70 per cent over last year. Approximately 40 per cent of CHN visitors are health professionals who use CHN resources both personally and with clients and 94 per cent of users recommend the site to others.

As the burden of living with chronic diseases and health challenges increases along with the doctor shortage experienced in many areas of the country, Canadian seniors are using the Internet like never before to access health information. All the information is quality-assessed by experts in and it is entirely focused on needs of users without profit or sale motives.

Friends of CHN is an ad hoc group whose objective is to focus attention on the closure of CHN and its impact, and to try to turn this decision around. CHN created a website with information about this decision and resources to help you voice your opposition:

• names, addresses and sample letters to help you write to the prime minister, minister of health and opposition critics to speak out against the closure of CHN

• a link to the petition that will be sent to the prime minister on February 14th asking him to have a heart and save the CHN

Canadian seniors can turn the government’s decision around. In fact, CHN is calling on all Canadians to add their voice to the opposition now, before it’s too late and CHN is shut down forever.

This is adopted from a letter from Friends of CHN, calling upon CARP members for their support.