• Health-care professionals speak out against changing Ontario’s sex-ed curriculum

    Nearly 1,800 health-care professionals are adding their voices to those urging the provincial government to keep the updated sex-ed curriculum… saying the old curriculum — which was used starting in 1998 — is unsafe for kids… many educators are worried that by teaching the outdated lessons they will actually be violating “their professional obligation to protect the health and well-being of students,” and that the Canadian Civil Liberties Association says schools boards are required to be inclusive.

  • Let the light shine on top-billing doctors in Ontario

    It’s high time Ontario taxpayers had more information about where the $12 billion paid to doctors goes… In Ontario, without comprehensive information, we’re left with general complaints about an underfunded and inefficient health-care system, juxtaposed with the troubling picture brought to light in a health ministry audit four years ago. How can one doctor bill for 100,000 patients in a single year? Why did the province’s dozen top-billing doctors received payments averaging $4 million apiece, with one billing $7 million?

  • Should we make drug use illegal, or make it safer?

    The war on drugs has always been about trade and politics, trying to control and contain a lucrative market, and an excuse for political interference. We need to stop treating drug users like commodities to be controlled and contained, and start treating them like people who need to be supported and informed.

  • Supervised drug-use sites work well, and Ontario should keep them going

    Research has shown that the sites reduce overdose deaths, the length of drug users’ hospital stays and HIV infection rates. As if that wasn’t enough, the clinics also save public money by improving the health of intravenous-drug users… We hope this review is a face-saving measure by a government looking for an excuse to keep the clinics open despite its leader’s grandstanding on the issue.

  • Pharmacare consultations should be transparent

    … pharmacare would save Canadians $4 billion annually because Health Canada would be able to negotiate for better drug prices in bulk. However, it will also come with an upfront cost of $20 billion, likely requiring higher taxes to foot the bill, which is why it is essential that leadership gets it right… The government should resist the temptation for making pharmacare a partisan issue and commit to adhering to its own inclusion and transparency framework it promised Canadians.

  • Why Canada’s employers should back national pharmacare

    Canadians could save $7.3-billion to $10.7-billion (42.8 per cent) a year under a national pharmacare system. The bulk of those savings would accrue to employers who currently pay for drug insurance as part of their employee health plans. Even if the government took back some of those savings via taxes to help cover the cost of pharmacare, the net effect would be a major competitive advantage for Canadian employers, much in the way medicare is.

  • Health officials in B.C., Toronto call for widespread decriminalization of illicit drugs

    … compared with criminal charges, diversion programs can reduce criminal justice system costs and reduce adverse social and economic consequences for the individual. A 2008 study from Australia found that the majority of participants without prior offences did not commit further offences and those with prior offences had reduced rates for reoffending after participating in the program. Under decriminalization… it would remain illegal to manufacture, sell and distribute illicit drugs.

  • ‘No Jab, No Pay’. In Australia, no excuse accepted for unvaccinated kids

    The financial penalty for non-vaccination is imposed principally on the poor – those who receive income-tested benefits – while it is wealthier parents who are most likely to eschew vaccination… But the majority of parents of unvaccinated and under-vaccinated kids are not dogmatic; they are overwhelmed, usually by monetary and logistical issues. What they need are not financial penalties, but practical help – carrots, not sticks.

  • Doug Ford needs to rein in Ontario’s bureaucratic health-care mess

    … the Liberals carried out 15 significant restructuring exercises, centralizing and decentralizing and creating new layers of regional administration such as LHINs (local health integration networks) and CCACs (community care access centres), before settling on the current bloated structure of 14 LHINs (each of which has a CEO and six vice-presidents) and 78 sub-LHINs. (The CCACs were rolled into the LHINs after a damning Auditor-General’s report showing they spent almost 40 per cent of home-care dollars on administration.)

  • Ontario Tories’ point man on health care wants more innovation

    the Progressive Conservative vision places an emphasis on: making more health care available outside of hospitals; improving integration as patients move from hospital to home and throughout the rest of the health system; increasing innovation and making better use of technology; and improving access to patient records… What distinguishes the Progressive Conservatives from other parties, Devlin said, is that they have the “political will to modernize our system by creating real integrated care.”