• PET brain scans show many Alzheimer’s patients may not actually have the disease

    A significant portion of people with mild cognitive impairment or dementia who are taking medication for Alzheimer’s may not actually have the disease… The findings could change the way doctors treat people in these hard-to-diagnose groups and save money currently being spent on inappropriate medication… “we’re getting a 66 per cent change… of people who are on a drug and didn’t need to be on those drugs.”

  • Canada committed to improving mental health in Indigenous communities

    Preventing suicide requires achieving social equity. We have already taken important steps by investing in key social determinants of health, such as housing, education and the environment. While these are first steps, our intent is to continue investing in all areas in pursuit of social equity… Promoting life and preventing suicide requires respect for Indigenous knowledge and practices…

  • Poor health-care ranking a sign our system needs fixing

    What may surprise many is that Canada ranks so poorly (nine of 11) in what are arguably the two most critical areas, health outcomes and equity… The problem is that Canada does not cover a broad enough range of services. Medicare covers 100 per cent of hospital and physician services, but too often fails to cover essential prescription drugs, home care, long-term care and dental care, which is the norm in most wealthy countries.

  • Makers of OxyContin, Percocet sued by U.S. governments over opioid crisis

    Their suit is part of a wave of litigation against pharmaceutical companies by states, counties and local prosecutors besieged by the worst addiction crisis in American history… Opioid overdoses killed 33,000 people in the U.S. in 2015, about three times the number of gun homicides. The intensity of the crisis, and likely the fact that many of the victims are white middle-class suburbanites with political clout, has produced a bipartisan shift in perceptions of addiction.

  • Canada ranks third-last in study of health care in 11 rich countries

    Canada placed third from the bottom in a major new study of health care in 11 affluent nations, a score that reflects this country’s poor performance on measures such as infant mortality, access to after-hours medical care and the affordability of dental visits and prescription drugs… access, equity and health-care outcomes… “On those domains of quality, [Canada] is fairly similar to the U.S.”

  • Carrot Rewards app gets $1.5 million boost from Ontario government

    Carrot Rewards was developed with the help of the Public Health Agency of Canada as well as health-based charities. “This innovative digital platform is encouraging and incentivizing healthy choices, and helping to improve the overall health and well-being of people across the province,” … “Features such as the loyalty program, personal goal tracking and the quizzes aim to make leading a healthier life easier and show that improving your health can be fun, too.”

  • Mindfulness and meditation need to be part of Canada’s mental-health strategy

    The traditional frame of reactive acute care is no longer sufficient or optimal. It’s time for public-health officials, policy makers and the public to get behind a commitment to scaling up access to meditation and mindfulness programs… Information and opportunities to practice meditation should be available to all Canadians – with schools, hospitals, workplaces and even public transport or the CBC as possible points of delivery.

  • If you had one national symbol left, it would be …?

    It’s unmistakable how ardent the attachment to Canada of most recent immigrants is… looking ethnically and multiculturally diverse but not particularly feeling the diversity because they’re all Canadians brought together… Not through some abstraction like Canadian niceness, but by their commitment to pay their taxes, assuring that everyone else there [in hospital emergency rooms] needn’t worry about money while awaiting the good, or bad, news.

  • Release full data on drug company payments to doctors

    Full disclosure will make physicians more cautious about accepting payments that may influence how they treat their patients, and researchers can actually measure the effects of those fees on doctors’ prescribing habits… pharmaceutical companies have made it clear to the government they will not voluntarily report how much they pay individual doctors. Now the government must step in as quickly as possible and force the issue.

  • Passing laws one step in war on opioid overdoses

    … now there’s an urgent need to ensure its implementation is not bound up in bureaucratic red tape… provincial and territorial health authorities must not impose… unduly burdensome operational requirements that effectively delay their scaleup… such bureaucratic delays are deadly… there is a pressing need to expand access to treatment options for people with problematic substance use…