• Three Ontario nursing homes ordered to stop new admissions because of substandard care

    Proper staffing of Ontario long-term care homes in general has long been a complaint among workers, families and the residents who suffer from lack of care… the government introduced legislation that, if passed, would create tougher enforcement against nursing homes. The legislation would include hefty fines for corporations, ranging from $200,000 for first time offence and $500,000 for subsequent offences.

  • Canada should learn from countries that do universal health care differently—and better

    Data from organizations such as the Commonwealth Fund defuse the notion that such wait times are a natural consequence of universal health care. For example, 30 per cent of Canadian patients reported waiting two months or longer for an appointment with a specialist, compared with only three per cent in Germany, four per cent in France and seven per cent in the Netherlands.

  • Big Pharma marketing scheme banned by Ontario

    The electronic vouchers steer patients to brand name drugs over their less expensive generic equivalents, and have raised concerns that patients’ health records are being used to sell pricier drugs that can pile unnecessary costs onto private insurance plans. The voucher feature, found in medical record software owned by Telus Health and other companies, will be disabled over the coming weeks, said Hoskins.

  • Put critical mental health care within reach of all

    Health Quality Ontario says proven treatments provided by psychologists, nurses, youth counsellors and social workers — such as cognitive behavioural therapy — should be covered by public health insurance. The evidence is clear for these specific psychotherapies, which are the first line of treatment for nearly every type of child or youth mental illness… For severe anxiety, a combination of CBT and medication is successful with 80 per cent of patients.

  • Time to regulate occupational health and safety professionals

    … home inspectors, paramedics and human resources professionals are now regulated in some form in one or more provinces. In fact, provinces are increasingly regulating a suite of health professionals that may include everyone from dental hygienists to diagnostic sonographers, but not OHS professionals… Regulating OHS professionals as other countries have done would be a significant step forward in making Canada’s workplaces safer and healthier.

  • Why doesn’t Ontario want health-care workers to be accountable?

    No one knows for sure how many PSWs there are in Ontario, precisely because the field is so unregulated. Miranda Ferrier guesses there are about 135,000. About 30,000 belong to her association, and every one of them has to have an enhanced criminal record check and local police check — every year — and the association has in place a code of ethics, standards of practice and ongoing education. If these things were made mandatory… PSWs would have to be similarly checked out and there would be some accountability.

  • Doctors and pharmacists must step up to help women access abortion pill

    … confusion reigns over how women can access a drug that Health Canada approved for use in this country a full two years ago. That’s plain wrong. Health Canada, the province and doctors and pharmacists must work together to clear away the obstacles preventing women from accessing this legal drug. Anything less is unacceptable.

  • Prescriptions shouldn’t push brand name drugs

    … thousands of Canadian doctors use the software to take notes during patient visits and create a prescription to be filled by the patient’s pharmacy. To encourage pharmacists to fill the prescription with their brand name drug, pharmaceutical companies have paid Telus (the company won’t say how much) to digitally insert vouchers on the prescription so that pharmacists will reach for their drug rather than a lower-cost generic made by a competitor.

  • Doctors use this software during patient visits. Now Big Pharma is tapping it to sell their drugs

    Concerned physicians say a clinical tool they use to write prescriptions and care for patients is being co-opted, and they fear health records are being tapped so drug companies can increase profits. In the battle for pharmaceutical dominance, this new tactic, deployed in software used by doctors, has allowed brand-name companies to capitalize on the moment a prescription is written.

  • Canada resists health-care reform, despite overwhelming evidence we need it

    Presumably, health care reform is an issue that could resonate with Canadians if politicians got the messaging right. The problem, though, is that may first require our leaders to disabuse the public of the fantasy that our system is first-rate—a bubble no politician is likely inclined to voluntarily pop. Perhaps a court ruling confirming long wait times and patient rights will pop it for them.