• Better health care means fixing bureaucratic failings

    The body (or bodies) that oversee health delivery… should operate independently, at arm’s length from the government… The role of elected officials is to set broad objectives and benchmarks; then they should get out of the way and let the system be managed by professional managers… [inn which there is] an element of regional autonomy… patients have a strong voice… measurement… continuous improvement and scaling up successful innovations.

  • Why has Ontario’s health system abandoned our kids?

    The Ontario government must invest in: Early detection and prevention programs; More psychiatrists and health-care professionals; Specialized residential treatment programs; Post-residential treatment programs; Support for families; Navigation tools to help match people with available treatments; Public awareness in schools, the work place and the community… This is our cry for help and call to action to the government of Ontario.

  • Doctors, province reach tentative deal to send contract disputes to arbitration

    Ontario’s doctors and the provincial government have reached a tentative deal on a process that would send future contract disputes to binding interest arbitration… The next step is for members of the Ontario Medical Association to ratify the pact, clearing the way for contract talks on compensation for physicians… Under binding interest arbitration, an arbitrator decides how to settle a dispute based on an agreed framework of issues set in advance by both sides.

  • First of five ‘barrier-free’ Toronto addiction clinics opens at Women’s College

    Patients with alcohol, opioid or other addictions don’t require a booked appointment or a referral from a doctor to get help at the rapid-access clinics, which are being credited with saving money and lives… “the opiate crisis we’re seeing now has reached epidemic proportions.” The rapid-access clinic model “offers us a realistic and effective response to this crisis,”

  • Now, more than ever, we need a national vaccination plan

    our system for vaccinating kids is shamefully clunky and disorganized. we don’t even have an accurate count of who is vaccinated and who isn’t. That’s because every province tracks vaccination differently, if at all… who does vaccinations – nurses, family doctors, pediatricians – varies between jurisdictions and… few provinces have any standardized methods of encouraging parents to get kids vaccinated, follow-up procedures for those who miss their shots or stringent rules about who can opt out.

  • New report gives troubling new perspective on Ontario’s opioid crisis

    … n 2014, far more Ontarians died using opioids than in motor vehicle collisions. Many of these deaths, almost 60 per cent, affect a fairly young population – those between the ages of 15 and 44… in the fiscal year 2012 there were 7.4 million opioids dispensed through prescriptions. By 2014, that number had risen to 9 million… Ontario is in the midst of a deepening opioid crisis.

  • Reverse 45 years of neglect of health centres

    … there is a growing body of evidence that the belief espoused by the [1972] Hastings report — “that some shift from the present emphasis on acute hospital in-patient care… offers a means of slowing the rate of increase in health-services spending” — is correct… [CHCs] have been shown to reduce avoidable use of hospital emergency rooms, improve accessibility and comprehensiveness of health and social services in rural areas, and enhance the accessibility and effectiveness of mental-health and addictions programs…

  • Community care eases pressure on hospitals

    The rhetoric suggests that hospital funding has been limited in order to drastically increase funding for home and community care. In reality, funding for home care increased from 4.32 per cent to 4.92 per cent of the total health budget between 2008/09 and 2015/16. Funding for community support services, including home support, respite care, Alzheimer’s day programs and Meals on Wheels increased from 1.24 per cent to 2 per cent. As hospital funding makes up a full third of the total health budget, pitting the two sectors against one another doesn’t make much sense.

  • Ontario must increase funding for hospitals

    … although Ontario’s population has increased by 36 per cent since 1990 and the percentage of seniors who need more care is growing, the province has purposely shrunk its hospital system. In 1990 there were 33,403 acute-care hospital beds; today there are only 18,571… The current shortage of funds is endangering patient care, increasing the risk of infections, and dangerously stressing out hospital staff. It’s also cutting into hospitals’ budgets for capital projects, equipment and research

  • Up to 30 per cent of medical care Canadians receive is unnecessary: report

    … unnecessary care creeps into the health-care system for a slew of reasons. Part of the problem is patients, armed with medical advice from the Internet, demanding cutting-edge tests and treatments… But the biggest contributor… is the way excessive care is “baked into” the health-care system, with hospitals relying on outdated forms that make tests automatic and doctors ordering procedures out of habit…