• Health-care system pushed to breaking point with recent cuts, proposed tax changes

    Although physicians bill the government for the patient services they provide, physicians are self-employed and have no pensions or benefits… Physicians are unique small business owners in that they are not able to pass their increasing overhead expenses onto patients, as their fees are fixed by the government. The vast majority (85 per cent) of survey respondents reported that Morneau’s proposed tax changes will force them to change how they practice medicine

  • Historic $100-million gift will help to treat heart disease

    The Munks, who are helping to make Toronto a global centre of innovative heart health care, are to be thanked. Their donation will help to fund work that could prevent the deaths of the 30,000 Canadians killed by heart disease each year, not to mention prevent attacks in the 90 per cent of Canadians with at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

  • Should doctors be paid a salary?

    Private, fee-for-service practice does not reflect the needs of a modern health-care system, which requires team-based care that focuses on patient outcomes, not piecemeal work. It also does not make financial sense to physicians anymore, who have no access to benefits, such as vacation, parental leave or pensions, and due to both price regulation and prohibition of private care, can neither adjust prices nor find alternative sources of revenue to cover increasing practice costs… it’s a failing business model.

  • Morneau’s proposed tax changes attack doctors – and negatively impact patients

    Mr. Morneau’s tax changes will have a drastic impact on patient care. Doctors will change how they run their offices, adjust the kinds of care they offer and alter career paths… But most importantly, Mr. Morneau’s tax proposals will negatively impact access to medical care. It will make Canada an undesirable place to practise medicine.

  • New Health Minister Petitpas Taylor defends tax changes under fire from doctors

    … she was the parliamentary secretary to Finance Minister Bill Morneau before she was given a ministry of her own, and has spent much time working on the tax file… now, her most pressing job may be to calm the doctors. When the proposed tax changes are fully explained, they are understood, she said. But “if there are unique situations that [doctors and others] are faced with, we want to make sure that we hear from them and that we get this right.”

  • Big Pharma marketing scheme banned by Ontario

    The electronic vouchers steer patients to brand name drugs over their less expensive generic equivalents, and have raised concerns that patients’ health records are being used to sell pricier drugs that can pile unnecessary costs onto private insurance plans. The voucher feature, found in medical record software owned by Telus Health and other companies, will be disabled over the coming weeks, said Hoskins.

  • Put critical mental health care within reach of all

    Health Quality Ontario says proven treatments provided by psychologists, nurses, youth counsellors and social workers — such as cognitive behavioural therapy — should be covered by public health insurance. The evidence is clear for these specific psychotherapies, which are the first line of treatment for nearly every type of child or youth mental illness… For severe anxiety, a combination of CBT and medication is successful with 80 per cent of patients.

  • Unions want pharmacare plan for all Canadians

    We need a pharmacare plan that covers all Canadians. Just think about what that would mean for the one in five people paying out of pocket for their medication today, either because they don’t have a prescription drug plan, or because they have a plan that doesn’t cover the full cost of the medications they need… An estimated 8.4 million working Canadians don’t have prescription drug coverage… We have the second highest prescription drug costs in the world

  • Time to regulate occupational health and safety professionals

    … home inspectors, paramedics and human resources professionals are now regulated in some form in one or more provinces. In fact, provinces are increasingly regulating a suite of health professionals that may include everyone from dental hygienists to diagnostic sonographers, but not OHS professionals… Regulating OHS professionals as other countries have done would be a significant step forward in making Canada’s workplaces safer and healthier.

  • Why doesn’t Ontario want health-care workers to be accountable?

    No one knows for sure how many PSWs there are in Ontario, precisely because the field is so unregulated. Miranda Ferrier guesses there are about 135,000. About 30,000 belong to her association, and every one of them has to have an enhanced criminal record check and local police check — every year — and the association has in place a code of ethics, standards of practice and ongoing education. If these things were made mandatory… PSWs would have to be similarly checked out and there would be some accountability.