• 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.

  • Act now on Indigenous youth suicide crisis

    A Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruled last year that the federal government discriminates against First Nations children on reserves. Even though needs are greater, Ottawa provides significantly less support to children on reserves – for which it is responsible – than provinces do for Indigenous children living off-reserve… The ruling was particularly troubling given the adoption of Jordan’s Principle… that stipulates no Indigenous child should suffer denials, delays or disruptions in health services due to jurisdictional disputes.

  • This report just shredded every myth claiming Canadian medicare is superior — or fair

    When measuring the equity of our system against the others, we come a pitiful ninth out of 11… Despite being a fairly high spender, we are not able to turn that money into better outcomes for Canadians. Again, we rank ninth out of 11. But in what must be the bitterest pill, we come 10th in access… it is the defenders of the status quo who are denying Canadians the kind of experimentation and reform that provide superior equity and outcomes in our peer countries every day.

  • Patients whose emergency surgeries are delayed have higher risk of dying, Canadian study shows

    The most common causes for delay were that operating rooms were already in use or surgeons, anesthetists or surgical nursing staff were not available… In January 2013, the hospital began using a new method for scheduling such operations, including dedicating OR time specifically for emergency procedures and spreading elective surgeries more evenly throughout the week… “There was a massive improvement in patients getting to emergency surgeries on time…

  • Is the federal government a champion of reconciliation or of discrimination?

    The effect of long delays in urgent service approvals and service denials are too often the same — the tragic loss of children’s lives… it is a good time to remember that citizenship is not about having blind faith in the government in the face of such clear and compelling evidence of wrongdoing; it is about loving the values that define the country enough to stand up for them.

  • Better pay for doctors won’t cure what ails the system

    … the idea that physician pay — not just the agreed fee, but the frequency of billings — should be uncontrolled, ungoverned, and unaccounted for by anyone other than doctors is unsustainable. And it is at the centre of the ongoing dispute between the government and the OMA, and within the OMA itself… A fee for service system that rewards patient volumes over patient vitals is dumb and dated. More than merely gatekeepers, doctors must be partners

  • If we don’t fix medicare, we may lose it

    … the Ontario Health Coalition is the latest to sound the alarm. It found that at least 88 private health clinics in six provinces regularly charge patients hundreds or thousands of dollars for needed diagnoses, tests or surgeries. In some cases, doctors levy user fees and bill the public system, charging twice for the same service… Such exploitative extra charges are prohibited by the Canada Health Act, yet these clinics operate with impunity.

  • Health care: What should we be paying for?

    … the evidence has found that allowing private payment does indeed make the publicly available care worse. More promising approaches to improving wait times include both making sure the necessary resources are in place, and learning from engineers and improving queue management, including encouraging single points of entry… if we are going to invest more money, place it where we can improve peoples’ health