• Paying MDs more won’t help

    Some access and wait-times are better since the 1980s, but not because there are more physicians getting higher fees. Success has mainly come through common-sense reorganization and by replacing physician-centred models of medical care with patient-centred models, often involving fewer physicians but other more appropriate professionals… other factors matter more to our health… security in housing and food, good education, adequate income.

  • Better medicare the prescription for Ontario

    Calls for user fees on top of what the government already pays us, and arguments to let rich Ontarians pay for faster services, undermine values shared by most doctors and patients. Not to mention, they also fly in the face of the evidence. Besides violating the Canada Health Act and Ontario’s own laws, user fees and similar charges disproportionately impact those least able to pay, who also happen to be the Ontarians most in need of care.

  • Prescription from ER doctor: expand public dental programs

    … they come to the hospital because they have nowhere else to go. For children in low income families, we have a public dental program called Healthy Smiles Ontario. For anyone over age 17 (including seniors), we have nothing… there were almost 61,000 visits to emergency departments in Ontario for dental problems in 2015, or one visit every nine minutes… Based on the average cost of an emergency room visit, the Association of Ontario Health Centres estimates it costs the province at least $31 million annually.

  • Breaking down Canada’s health-care silos: More money isn’t the answer

    Hospitals are largely paid based on how much they spent last year. Long-term care homes are paid for each bed filled. Physicians are paid for the number of services they provide. Crucially, all these entities are paid public dollars through separate envelopes despite treating the same patients. As aging Canadians with multiple chronic diseases bounce from one health-care silo to another, from hospital to the community and back again, nobody holds accountability for their safe journey across these settings.

  • The real challenge to Canada’s health system is not wait times

    More than anything else though, what Canada needs to fix its systemic health-care woes is to create a semblance of a system. What distinguishes the countries that have markedly better results than Canada – like the Netherlands and the Nordic countries – is the cohesiveness of the system, and the emphasis on primary care… we need vision and we need a system; not just data, but a willingness to act on the data.

  • Beyond harm reduction

    … regulation must be embraced as the next step in harm reduction. “That is the stated objective behind cannabis regulation: They’re doing this to protect youth, they’re doing this to protect public safety,” Mr. MacPherson said. “The same argument applies to all other drugs, as difficult as that is to put forward. We need to get beyond the point where we’re afraid of that, because what we have now is absolutely not working.”

  • Physician incomes at heart of dispute with province

    The public would take doctors a lot more seriously if, along with their demands for more money, they called for a redistribution of wealth in the form of far more robust social programs, which collectively influence health to the same degree than all medical interventions combined.

  • A sad day for Ontario doctors, patients

    … they claim they are advocating on behalf of patients who are suffering because the Liberals “are driving health care into the ground.” Few people are buying that argument, though. One of those is Bob Rae, the former Ontario NDP premier, who tweeted this week that the “OMA is a union fighting for higher incomes for docs. Period.”

  • Sexual violence: The silent health epidemic

    Being a girl or woman is a risk factor for abuse and assault… But being marginalized greatly increases that risk… Gender-based violence tends to flourish out of a culture that devalues women, where so-called “locker-room talk” that demeans women is casually accepted, where media messages objectify women, where women are held to a different sexual standard (slut-shaming) and where sexual harassment is dismissed as no big deal.

  • Health benefits tax off the table, Trudeau says

    The finance department has been considering making employer-provided health and dental plans a taxable benefit, a move that could add more than $1,000 to the income tax bills of the 13.5 million Canadians who have such plans… But as word got out, opposition from the insurance industry, unions, medical associations and small businesses began to mount.