Canadian Medical Association

Thank you to all who submitted a proposed initiative. Applications are now closed. Recipients of the grant will be announced in Spring 2024.

Let’s turn lost minutes into patient care

An estimated 18.5 million hours are spent by physicians annually on unnecessary administrative tasks. The Canadian Medical Association (CMA), MD Financial Management and Scotiabank® are offering $10 million in grants through the Health Care Unburdened Grant program. You could receive between $500,000 and $1 million to implement an idea that helps physicians reclaim lost time and improve patient care. 

We’re looking forward to funding ideas that help with one or more of the following:

Streamlining or reducing required documentation or administrative work

Improving efficiencies to processes and practices

Reimagining resourcing and teaming to reduce the administrative burden

Everything you need to know

Video Transcript

The Canadian Medical Association, MD Financial Management, and Scotiabank® are working together to fund solutions to help solve the unnecessary administrative burden challenge through the ten-million dollar Health Care Unburdened Grant program. And we want your help. To be eligible for a grant of up to a million dollars in funding, you must belong to a registered non-profit organization in Canada. Your initiative must measurably help reduce the administrative burden and take a cross-functional team-based approach. And your team has to include a physician or a medical learner. So, what's our goal? Simple. We’re looking forward to funding initiatives that can help streamline or reduce administrative work, improve efficiencies to processes or reimagine resourcing. Ready to submit your initiative? It’s as easy as one-two-three. Click 'Apply now' on backslash Health Care Unburdened. And Follow the steps to create a profile, and then submit your application through the online form. Your initiative will be evaluated based on need and feasibility, the impact it could have, how sustainable and scalable it is, and finally, how collaborative and inclusive you were as a team. With up to a million dollars in funding, can your initiative make an impact on health care? Let’s find out. Submit between October Twenty-fourth and December Twelfth and grants will be awarded in Spring Twenty-Twenty-Four. And don't worry, you're not alone on this journey. There’s support every step of the way including a direct link to a program advisor. Any questions? We’re here to help. Because ultimately, we all want to achieve the same goal when it comes to addressing administrative burden. We want to help physicians focus on patients not paperwork, and protect physician wellness to bring the joy back into medicine. Together, let’s turn lost minutes into patient care.

Most physicians go into medicine because we want to sit at that intersection between science and human-to-human connection. Administrative burden stands in the way of that positive relationship we have with patients.

– Dr. Kathleen Ross, CMA president

How your idea will be assessed

Your application will be evaluated based on the following:

  • the need for and feasibility of your idea
  • the impact your initiative could have
  • the sustainability and scalability of your idea
  • how collaborative and inclusive you were as a team

Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question? We have the answers. Just scroll to find the question and select to see the answer. If you have any additional questions that you don’t see answered here, please email us at [email protected]


What are the terms and conditions for this grant program?

The full Terms and Conditions is available on our website. 

Who is funding the grant program?

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and Scotiabank® together with MD Financial Management Inc. (the “Affinity Sponsors”) are firmly committed to supporting the medical profession and advancing health in Canada. As proof of this commitment, the Affinity Sponsors are investing $115 million to support physicians and the communities they serve. The Health Care Unburdened Grant program is an initiative supported by this investment.

Who is responsible for reviewing, assessing, and selecting the grant recipients?

Submitted applications will be assessed by a review panel which is comprised of independent subject matter experts reflecting the following roles/perspectives: 

  • Physicians (including specialists)
  • Medical learners 
  • Healthcare professionals 
  • Patients 
  • Business leaders 
  • Health administrators and researchers

The review panel is comprised of the following: 

  • Dr. Ekua Agyemang, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer with the Government of Nunavut and board member at Black Physicians of Canada  
  • Ms. Zoey Bourgeois, Second-year medical student
  • Dr. Braydon Connell, Neurology resident and CMA Ambassador  
  • Dr. Maxine Dumas Pilon, Family physician, co-founder at Indigo Clinic, and assistant professor at the McGill University Department of Family medicine
  • Dr. Alexandra T. Greenhill, CEO and Chief Medical Officer at Careteam Technologies Inc.  
  • Dr. Ojistah Horn, Family physician and lecturer at McGill University, Queen’s University, and the University of Ottawa  
  • Dr. Ruth Lavergne, Associate Professor at Department of Family Medicine for Dalhousie University and Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Primary Care  
  • Mr. Konata Lake, Partner and head of the Emerging Companies and Venture Capital Group at Torys LLP  
  • Dr. Brent Norton, Venture partner at Lumira Ventures and board member at the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada  
  • Mr. Angus Pratt, Health Activist
  • Dr. Anne Snowdon, Professor of Strategy & Entrepreneurship at Odette School of Business, Chief Scientific Officer at HIMSS, and Scientific Director and CEO at SCAN Health  
  • Dr. Jordan Vollrath, Chief Medical Officer at Cherry Health  

The review panel will make recommendations regarding which applicants should receive funding through the Health Care Unburdened Grant program. A committee of senior leaders from the CMA, Scotiabank® and MD Financial Management Inc. will approve the grant recipients. 


Who is eligible to apply to this program?

The Health Care Unburdened Grant program is open to applicants with initiatives that meet the following criteria:

  • To qualify as an applicant, the application must be submitted on behalf of a registered, non-profit organization in Canada. 
  • Initiatives must be: 
    • Primarily focused on reducing administrative burden in health care; 
    • Involve a team-based approach and include a physician (registered in Canada) or medical learner (registered at a Canadian medical school), as well as other stakeholders as part of the team;
    • Submitted in either English or French; 
    • Submitted through the CMA’s grant management platform; and
    • Submitted between October 24 and December 12, 2023 by 6 pm ET.

What is a team-based approach?

Applicants must take a team-based approach by ensuring multiple stakeholders are part of the team responsible for the proposed initiative. Applicants must demonstrate that their team includes a physician (registered in Canada) or medical learner (registered at a Canadian medical school) as well as at least one of the following:

  • Patients/caregivers; 
  • Health system administrators; 
  • Healthcare leadership/decision-makers 
  • Policymakers  
  • Other healthcare providers

The team may also include representatives from the for-profit sector, but they are ineligible to apply as lead applicant. 

What types of organizations or initiatives are ineligible?

  • Lead organizations:
    • For-profit entities: For-profit entities, including for-profit health clinics and long-term care homes, are not eligible to apply as lead applicants for the grant program. For-profit entities can be listed as a team member but must not be the primary beneficiary of the grant funding. 
    • International non-profit organizations: Non-profit organizations that are registered outside of Canada are not eligible to apply as lead applicants.
  • Initiatives:
    • Biomedical or clinical research projects: Initiatives focused on conducting medical experiments, clinical trials, or laboratory-based research would not qualify.
    • One-off initiatives or products: The Health Care Unburdened Grant program is focused on creating sustained and measurable reductions in administrative burden over time. As a result, applications that focus on one-time events (ex. conferences), websites, or other ad-hoc initiatives are ineligible.

How long should my initiative take to complete?

The grant period is a two-year term, expected to commence in Q2 2024 and end in Q2 2026. Initiatives may identify project timelines that are shorter or longer than this period. Applicants should indicate what milestones and deliverables are expected within this two-year period, and how the initiative will be sustained beyond the two-year period if applicable. 

Do I need to be a member of the CMA to apply for a grant?

No, applicants do not need to be a member of the CMA to apply for a grant.

Can my organization apply twice with two or more initiatives?

Yes, however, your organization is only eligible to receive one grant. 

Is my organization eligible to receive multiple grants?

No, your organization is only eligible to receive one grant.

If I or someone from my organization is a contributor on another application, is my organization eligible to receive a grant?

Yes, if you are listed as a team member on another application that receives a grant, your organization is still eligible to receive a grant.  

Grant criteria and assessment

What types of initiatives will the Health Care Unburdened Grant program fund?

The goal of the Health Care Unburdened Grant program is to provide transformative funding to non-profit organizations that are making measurable reductions in the administrative burden facing physicians through initiatives that: 

  • Streamline/reduce required documentation or administrative work;  
  • Improve efficiencies to processes and practices; and/or 
  • Reimagine resourcing to reduce the administrative burden.

What information will I be asked to provide as part of the application process?

You can review the application questions prior to starting the application process. Your responses to these questions must be submitted via the online application form. 

How will my application be assessed? 

Applications will be assessed by a review panel using the following criteria: 

  • Evidence of need: Refers to an applicant’s ability to provide compelling and data-supported reasons for why the reduction of administrative burden for physicians is necessary and significant within their setting.
  • Impact: Refers to the potential measurable outcomes and changes that the funded initiatives are expected to achieve in reducing administrative burden within the applicant’s setting.
  • Feasibility: Refers to whether the initiative in question can, practically, be successfully implemented within the applicant’s setting. It involves assessing whether it is realistic, achievable, and supported by evidence of effectiveness and usability.
  • Scalability and sustainability: Refers to the ability of the funded initiatives to be expanded, replicated, and maintained on a larger scale beyond the scope of the grant program. A scalable initiative is one that can grow and be implemented in multiple settings or regions. A sustainable initiative is one that can be maintained and supported in the long term, even after the grant funding has ended.
  • Collaboration: Refers to the cooperative and mutually beneficial approach taken by the project team responsible for the proposed initiative. Collaboration involves working together with appropriate and diverse stakeholders, organizations, and individuals who are in alignment to develop, implement, and sustain the initiative. The project team also prioritizes reconciliation, anti-racism, diversity, and equity and inclusion throughout the team and processes.

Grant recipient questions

If I’m a successful grant recipient, will the CMA or Scotiabank®/MD Financial Management Inc. take any ownership or intellectual property?

Your organization will retain all ownership and intellectual property if you are a successful grant recipient.A committee of senior leaders from the CMA, Scotiabank®, and MD Financial Management Inc. will approve the grant recipients. Once grant recipients are confirmed, recipients will be asked to sign a funding agreement and provide additional information to support the announcement and marketing of the grant recipients. We anticipate that grant recipients will be announced in Q2 of 2024.

What additional supports are available through the program?

Grant recipients may have access to supports like:

  • Knowledge translation and dissemination;
  • Marketing and promotion; 
  • Evaluation support; 
  • And more.

If my initiative receives a grant, what are the reporting requirements?

Grant recipients will be required to deliver semi-annual reports on the progress of their initiative and may be required to present these reports to the Sponsors. Funding installments will be conditional on the satisfactory completion of reporting requirements as laid out in the funding agreement. 

If my initiative receives a grant, will I need to sign an agreement?

Grant recipients must sign an agreement outlining the terms and conditions of the grant. 

If my initiative receives a grant, how are the funds distributed?

Funds are typically distributed in installments. In order to receive grant funds, recipients will be required to issue an invoice, complete a wire set up form, and provide a voided cheque or financial institution form upon the agreement being signed. Funds would be wired to the lead applicant as per the timelines and processes indicated in the agreement.

Don’t see the answer to your question?

Get in touch with our funding team at [email protected]

MD Financial Management Inc. (MD Financial Management) provides financial products and services, the MD Family of Funds and investment counselling services through the MD Group of Companies and Scotia Wealth Insurance Services Inc. For a detailed list of these companies, visit and visit for more information on Scotia Wealth Insurance Services Inc. The trademarks of the Canadian Medical Association are registered and used under licence. The Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank®) provides banking and credit products and services. Visit ® Registered trademarks of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used under licence.