• There’s nothing like an American health care debate to make Canadians feel lucky

    … solutions are neither magical, nor beyond our grasp. And most of them don’t actually require more money—in fact, some of them will produce savings… by working together in teams with nurses, physiotherapists and pharmacists, we could deliver truly patient-centred care… pooling lists among specialists… reducing unnecessary tests and procedures… by creating a national pharmacare system… Our system of universal health care is a fundamental expression of our values and a testament to Canadians’ commitment to fairness.

  • Millions of Canadians will pay at least $1,000 more if Ottawa taxes health and dental plans, study finds

    … most employee benefits are taxed but, for reasons lost in the mists of past public policy, health and dental coverage is not. The argument for taxation is that those without private health plans, often people on low income, are subsidizing those who have them, generally people in the public sector or those who work in large companies. Reforming the taxation of benefits has been advocated by the Department of Finance for years.

  • An Urgent Call on Overdose Crisis: Prescribe Drugs, End Prohibition Second in a series.

    “Prohibition does not deliver on its intended goals, but it does result in the marginalization of whole groups of people and in some cases their deaths. It is time to consider an approach that helps to contain the negative effects of drug use, provides a variety of treatment modalities and harm reduction services and avoids criminalizing those who use drugs.”

  • The Overdose Crisis: We Know How to Save Lives, Doctors Say

    “Initially, we had thought the main reason for this epidemic in our community was we were seeing the intergenerational trauma from residential schools being resurrected… But that’s not the main factor driving people, particularly young people, into addiction… We’re finding out that the number one social determinant for what we’re seeing with addictions in this community is poverty.”

  • Money, yes – but mental health needs a plan

    We need to steal the ideas behind other countries’ successful programs… We must scale up successful programs… We need to tie more money to more measurement… to address… outcomes… a single, reliable clearinghouse… an accountability requirement for the spending of new mental-health money

  • Suddenly, safe-injection sites are mainstream politics

    … politicians could at least admit intractable problems are intractable and support half-measures. If hundreds of people are dying easily preventable deaths and your political orthodoxy prevents you from supporting a demonstrably effective remedial measure, maybe there’s something wrong with your political orthodoxy. Maybe, pretty soon, you’re going to look lost, silly and backward.

  • Missing: a child and youth mental health strategy at provincial and national levels

    Increasing mental health knowledge and skills of people working with children across sectors like education, social services and justice would mitigate the untoward effects of mental illness. Canada currently spends too little on mental health compared to other developed countries. The Mental Health Commission of Canada recommends that nine percent of health budgets should go to improving mental health services.

  • Canada 150: A year of celebration, a year for mental health

    Consider 150 Leading Canadians for Mental Health the continuation of a national conversation about the exciting work being done right now – and right here in Canada – making a difference in mental illness… You will see what real recovery looks like in the lives of those with mental illness. You will learn about exciting breakthroughs – from simple changes in approach to technological advances that revolutionize possibility.

  • Trudeau’s divide and conquer strategy pays off [Health $]

    The largest provinces will continue to resist federal conditions on health-care funding, beyond those already imposed by the Canada Health Act. Quebec, for one, will never accept them. But unless the provinces can show they’re serious about real reform – and that would involve standing up to the public-sector unions and doctors lobby to change health-care delivery – Ottawa may have to lead the way.

  • It’s past time to invest in mental health

    The inadequacy of the system can be seen through the full continuum of care, from prevention to diagnosis to treatment… A shortage of publicly funded therapists and the high cost of private ones leave many patients without options for talk therapy, in some cases for more than a year… Besides the human toll of this failure, the economic cost is astronomical… about $50 billion per year, or more than 2 per cent of GDP.