• 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.

  • Ontario nursing homes that fail to care for residents properly will face fines: health minister

    The measure, recommended by auditor general Bonnie Lysyk in her 2015 annual report, is part of a package of legislative and regulatory reforms expected by summer. They include more powers for the Health Ministry to order nursing homes to improve care, such as adopting new “best practices” for treating skin and wound problems, and the power to suspend a nursing home’s licence and put interim management in place.

  • The real health-care change we need? Strong leadership

    Complex health systems do not run themselves, and our current loosey-goosey collection of leaderless, milquetoast administrative bodies is not doing the job. If you want a well-managed, efficient health system that provides value for money, you need to hire good managers, pay them decently, empower them and hold them accountable. Until we do so, the number of health regions won’t matter, and the quality of health care will not improve appreciably.

  • Ontario must reassure public on top doctors’ billing

    … it is clear that Ontarians deserve answers in the face of credible information that, at the very least, some doctors are billing enormous amounts for procedures that auditors find to be highly questionable – if not outright fraudulent… It also strengthens the argument for making public how much individual doctors bill the province for their services… it’s been done routinely in two other provinces for many years.

  • One-in-six Ontarians left behind in health-care reforms

    Quality of care has improved for [10.5 million Ontarians]… patients who are part of a Family Health Team… those left behind from new group practices [2.3 million] receive poorer quality care… the patients left behind are more likely to be poor and new to Canada — and most live in urban areas… simply having a family doctor may not be enough.

  • How to get help for mental illness in Ontario

    A majority of people connect with mental health services through their family doctor but there are other ways to get mental health care… If your family doctor isn’t on a health team, or you need specialized mental health care beyond what they can provide, you might need your doctor to refer you to a psychiatrist. Or, if you can afford it, you can go through a private clinician like a psychologist or therapist… There are also free community resources available to help people navigate the mental health system and find affordable care.

  • Is Hoskins’ health reform plan bold or a bust?

    At the centre of the reforms is a massive reorganization of the home-care system… Doctors are unhappy because they claim the legislation gives the LHINs too much power over them. Specifically, they say it allows the LHINs to ask for such information as when their offices are open… patient advocates are concerned the bill weakens the role of patients in health-care planning and concentrates too much control at Queen’s Park.

  • Health Ministry urged to crack down on ‘problematic’ doctor billing

    Nine Ontario specialists claimed that they worked more than 360 days last year, according to the provincial auditor’s annual report… The auditor found 648 specialists whose 2015/16 billing trends were anomalous when compared to the expected range of days billed and services provided by specialty category… The province has had no inspector function since 2005 when it disbanded the Medical Review Committee.

  • Doctors warn thousands could leave for U.S. over new federal tax hikes

    An aggressive lobbying campaign by doctors, radiologists and other medical professionals has failed to sway Finance Minister Bill Morneau, who is rejecting calls to remove a provision in the budget that doctors say will force them to pay tens of thousands more a year in taxes.