• How Canada got addicted to fentanyl

    The supply chain for illicit fentanyl begins in China, but the problems Canada is experiencing start right here at home: No other country in the world consumes more prescription opioids on a per-capita basis, according to a recent United Nations report. The widespread use of prescription opioids is behind the rise of a new class of drug addicts, many of whom are turning to the black market to feed their habit… many of those deaths could have been avoided.

  • Universal health care was the Centennial Generation’s greatest achievement

    In the early 1960s, the Royal Commission on Health Services, appointed by a Progressive Conservative government and chaired by Justice Emmett Hall, discovered that more than 40 per cent of the population – 7.5 million Canadians – had no health insurance. It recommended changing that, by following the model of NDP-led Saskatchewan. As a result, between 1960 and 1970, Canadian governments made health insurance public and universal.

  • Doctors tortured patients at Ontario mental-health centre, judge rules

    Patients at a maximum-security mental-health facility in Ontario were tortured by medical doctors over a 17-year period in unethical and degrading human experiments, a judge has ruled in a lawsuit. The techniques used on the patients between 1966 and 1983 included solitary confinement, as treatment and as punishment; the administration of hallucinogens and delirium-producing drugs, including LSD; and brainwashing methods developed by the CIA

  • Cutting through the numbers on health-care funding

    Ottawa’s cash transfer covers 37 per cent of the costs of hospital, diagnostics and physician services (which were $92-billion last year). Federal tax dollars also go to health via equalization payments and targeted programs… beyond the dollars, there needs to be discussion about why Ottawa transfers dollars for health care. It should be to ensure that there is a semblance of a national system, to ensure that all Canadians have similar and equitable to care, regardless of their ability to pay, and where they live.

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    Brain man: Jeffrey A. Lieberman on the evolution of psychiatry

    … psychiatry should not become a specialty that focuses just on the biological aspect of a patient’s illness. It needs to be pluralistic and include genetics and other sciences that impact the brain… Psychiatrists are physicians trained in the illness of the brain… the most expensive of health professionals and governments try to use their time in a more economical way… For talk therapy or cognitive rehabilitation or marital therapy, patients will be encouraged to use a less expensive social worker or psychologist or trained lay therapist do that work.

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    Simcoe clinic in a grocery store breaks barriers for migrant farm workers

    The clinic was created to serve the more than 4,000 migrant farm workers toiling at farms and greenhouses in the region south of Brantford. Designed to eliminate some of the systemic barriers migrant workers face in getting basic health care, the pilot project has been a resounding success — reducing visits by such workers to the Norfolk General Hospital by 80 per cent… about 60 per cent are Spanish-speaking patients from Mexico, the rest from various Caribbean countries.

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    Mad Pride Toronto seeks to bring mentally ill into the mainstream

    Most discourse about mental illness tends to be either medical or institutional — how to treat and what to do with those who suffer from it. Mad Pride Toronto 2014 offers the much needed opportunity to engage with people living with mental illness as equals within the community, their forms of cultural life, their singular history. Madness needs to go mainstream.

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    40-year-old health report was prescient about today’s challenges

    Despite… the importance of addressing the socio-economic determinants of health, we have yet to heed Mr. Lalonde’s warning that the “traditional view of equating the level of health in Canada with the availability of physicians and hospitals is inadequate.” … We continue to spend on sickness care but we have savaged many social programs and made our tax system far less progressive.

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    Five maps that put cancer’s global spread into focus

    In some well-off Western countries, you’re likelier to get cancer. In less-developed countries, cancer is likelier to kill you… Canada… plac(ed) 12th in cancer incidence, with about 295 new cases for every 100,000 people and 64th in mortality, with about 103 deaths per 100,000… Lung cancer remains the most common – and deadliest – cancer in the world… Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women… The pattern of new breast cancer diagnoses and deaths in 2012 shows again that, when it comes to cancer, geography is destiny.

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    Primary care Paradox

    Jun. 28, 2011
    Douglas’s achievement in introducing medicare in Saskatchewan represented a deep conceptual shift that radically altered the provision of health care in Canada. He convinced a nation that in a civilized society, health care should be considered essential to individual and social well-being, and viewed both as a public right and a collective obligation. However, the events surrounding the birth of universal health insurance in Canada were full of irony on several levels