• A nurse just lost her freedom to criticize health care. That’s bad for everyone

    The alleged harm was to the sensibilities of some nurses in the Macklin nursing home. (We note the irony that, while no one has contested Strom’s assertion that her grandfather received substandard care, his alleged harm was of no relevance to the hearing or the decision.) There should be a much higher bar for finding someone guilty of professional misconduct where the alleged victims are not members of the public, but peers, and where the nature of the offence is speech.

  • A prescription for curing Ontario’s Ministry of Health

    Continuity of care is the vertical integration of systems to create an environment of quality patient care over time. Simply, it is the coordination of medical services across hospitals, clinics and the community that enables individuals to receive comprehensive and efficient care… In order for our health-care system to develop immunity against political epidemics, our health agency should be completely independent of the government.

  • “Public Option” Could Fill Gaps in Dental Coverage

    A universal single-payer dental insurance plan, or a public default plan that would cover everyone who doesn’t have an approved private plan, would ensure that no one would have to forgo urgently needed dental care for financial reasons. If properly managed, a public plan that anyone could use as an option would also put competitive pressure on private insurance, and indirectly on the dentists and allied professionals who supply the services.

  • Is every medical school graduate entitled to become a doctor?

    We have more doctors, in absolute numbers and per capita, than ever before. But we have a growing problem of maldistribution. Everyone wants to be a specialist and everyone wants to practice in a big city – largely because our pay scales tell us that is what is valued. We don’t need more doctors, we need more more general practitioners, especially in rural and remote areas. If medical students don’t want those jobs, then perhaps we’re not attracting the right people to medical school.

  • Why Trudeau may take a pass on universal pharmacare, despite his party’s wishes

    Canada spends more on prescription drugs, through a chaotic mix of public, private and individual payers, than nearly every other country on earth: $34 billion annually, or roughly $1,000 per capita — a third higher than the OECD average, and twice what countries like Denmark and the Netherlands pay. Yet an estimated 10 per cent of our people have no drug insurance — two to three times the rate in comparable countries — while another 10 per cent are classed as under-insured…

  • Ottawa should decriminalize all drugs – it’s effective policy

    … It makes sense, for reasons of public health, human rights and fiscal responsibility, to take a less punitive approach to drugs. But none of these arguments for a better, more humane response imply encouraging or condoning drug use. In fact, it is precisely because these substances, whether legal or illegal, can sometimes cause harm that we need to abandon approaches that have demonstrably compounded, rather than reduced, those harms.

  • Ontario Budget 2018: Health Sector Highlights

    If implemented, the health budget is expected to grow by 5% to $61.3 billion.[1] The government is proposing an expansion OHIP+ for seniors, a drug and dental care plan for those without private insurance, and additional funding for mental health, hospitals, home care, long-term care, palliative and end-of-life care and other initiatives discussed in more detail below.

  • Pharmacare: Focus on Canadians who need it most

    Ensuring that Canadians have access to prescription drugs should be a top priority… One single, nationally mandated pharmacare program would mean dissolving every existing provincially funded and employer-funded plan. It would likely mean one single, much smaller formulary (list of drugs), and would create opportunities for potential savings through bulk-buying. It would likely also create a large national bureaucracy and require a massive IT system … a national pharmacare plan may cover less than their existing plan.

  • National pharmacare is possible – but it won’t come easy

    While a single, national plan would theoretically save money on drug purchases, it would also mean a large-scale shifting of costs from the private sector to the public sector – a net $7.3-billion annually… The single biggest impediment to pharmacare is the unwillingness of federal, provincial and territorial governments to absorb those costs and then increase taxes to pay the bill – even if the consumer comes out paying less in the long run.

  • Opioid addiction should be treated with prescribed medication when possible, new Canadian guideline says

    The guideline… outlines a step-by-step approach that promotes the use of relatively inexpensive medication that reduces cravings for opioid drugs… opioid addiction should be treated as a chronic disease in doctors’ offices, similar to diabetes or hypertension. The guideline advises against detox programs that discharge patients after several days, with no further addiction treatment or medication to support recovery… at least 80 to 90 per cent of patients will relapse after discharge