• Ottawa funds health changes aimed at giving First Nations more control

    Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott announced $68 million over three years for Indigenous communities in Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan… Philpott says the money will help boost First Nations health services closer to home. She says this should help reduce the gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in areas such as diabetes and infectious disease… “The idea is to increase the control and the design of health systems in the hands of First Nations governments”

  • Canada must add more medical resident training positions

    With our institutions filled with foreign physicians who are paying to be there, albeit temporarily, Canada has not felt the urgency to address its doctor shortage. More must be done to add resident training positions for Canadians who study here or abroad. Our system relies not only on doctors from Saudi Arabia, but also Qatar, the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait. If they were all to withdraw their physicians, how could we guarantee the safety of our patients?

  • Ontario PC government orders freeze to opening of new overdose-prevention sites

    As the Ontario government reviews whether it should continue supporting supervised drug-use and overdose prevention sites, it has ordered a halt to the opening of any new temporary facilities to combat the opioid crisis… “The minister has been clear that she is undertaking an evidence-based review of the overdose prevention and supervised consumption site models to ensure that any continuation of these services introduce people into rehabilitation”

  • How should Ontario tackle the psychiatrist shortage?

    … of the 1,900 practicing psychiatrists in Ontario, over half are approaching retirement… The average annual number of outpatients seen by psychiatrists in Ontario has increased 20 percent between 2003 and 2013… The OPA offers three recommendations to stave this potential crisis in mental health care: Improve psychiatry exposure in medical school. Increase psychiatry residency spots and reduce residency vacancies. Pay psychiatrists adequately: their average gross annual pay that is 25 percent lower than the across-specialty average.

  • All Canadians deserve access to precious emergency care

    While the Canada Health Act guarantees portability, universality and accessibility, it lacks language that forces provinces and territories to cover the costs associated with these principles, a gap that allows governments to charge Canadians directly for flights to critical services… If the provinces can’t get their act together and work to ensure all Canadians – regardless of where they live or where they visit – won’t be on the hook for flights to access precious emergency care, the federal government must move to amend the Canada Health Act

  • Virtual Care Key to Modernizing Canada’s Healthcare System

    Answering healthcare’s challenges in the 21st century will not be achieved by having more 20th century buildings. It will come from modernizing our system through the use of new digital tools and integrating them into the day-to-day work of caring for patients… The problem isn’t with the technology, as other industries have made this leap, but rather with outdated regulations, policies and special interest groups which affect everything from privacy to labour negotiations, anchoring our ability to move forward.

  • Fix information gaps in health-care system

    one-in-five Canadians with chronic conditions have experienced medication errors or duplications. Medication errors put patients unnecessarily in harm’s way, but they are preventable. With proper care co-ordination and shared electronic health records, health-care providers can make informed decisions and reduce the chance of medication errors… every misdiagnosis, redundant procedure and unnecessary question adds to wait times and subtracts from budgets.

  • Rethinking therapy: How 45 questions can revolutionize mental health care in Canada

    “The adoption of vital sign-metrics is what pulled medicine out of the dark ages two centuries ago… It’s about time we did the same with mental health.” … Providing therapists – and clients – with session-by-session progress measurements has been found, in research, to improve results, because it catches earlier when therapy isn’t working, which can then prevent people from dropping out… while advocates acknowledge the limitations, they see it as a chance to improve results, and make the system more accountable to patients.

  • A plan to overhaul Canadian health care systems

    … core elements: A strong national drug agency to provide the necessary machinery to support universal pharmacare… a strong data and technology agency that will help collect and link information, feeding it back to patients and the people who deliver care to them so health care can learn and improve… [and] a “signature” agency, one that will embody the value the government wishes to pursue most aggressively – be it efficiency, innovation, engagement or equity.

  • How does Canada’s health spending hold up to international scrutiny?

    The notion that health spending is out of control and gobbling up too much of our tax dollars simply does not hold up to international scrutiny. What is more shocking, though, is how comparatively little Canada spends on social programs – 13 per cent of GDP, dead last. Denmark, by contrast, spends 27 per cent on social programs; even the hard-hearted U.S spends more, 16.7 per cent. This underscores the findings of a recent paper in the Canadian Medical Association Journal that showed Canada has systematically under-invested in social programs over the past three decades.