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Healthc Policy. 2016 Aug;12(1):52-8.

Opportunities and Barriers to Rural, Remote and First Nation Health Services Research in Canada: Comparing Access to Administrative Claims Data in Manitoba and British Columbia.

Author information

  • 1Director, MFN - Centre for Aboriginal Health Research, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB.
  • 2Director, Centre for Health Services, Policy and Research, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC.
  • 3Director, Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB.
  • 4Policy Analyst/Researcher, Nanaandawewigamig, First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB.


Access to geographically disaggregated data is essential for the pursuit of meaningful rural, remote and First Nation health services research. This paper explores the opportunities and challenges associated with undertaking administrative claims data research in the context of two different models of administrative data management: the Manitoba and British Columbia models. We argue that two conditions must be in place to support rural, remote and First Nation health services research: (1) pathways to data access that reconcile the need to protect privacy with the imperative to conduct analyses on disaggregated data; and (2) a trust-based relationship with data providers.

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