• Demand for youth mental health services is exploding. How universities and business are scrambling to react

    … it should not be the responsibility of post-secondary institutions to provide mental health services. It is their job is to provide education… The province this month announced $6 million in additional annual funding to support mental health services at Ontario’s colleges and universities… But with 44 post-secondary institutions… experts say it’s not enough. One-time funding for interventions isn’t a long-term fix

  • 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.

  • How to end Canada’s biggest public health emergency

    In 2015, more Canadians were killed by opioid-related overdoses than lost their lives at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic… no effort to confront or assuage the opioid epidemic can succeed without knowing who is prescribing what, to whom, and in what quantities… Given the scope and depth of the human catastrophe at hand, the lack of surveillance data is frankly shocking… this big of an emergency demands big, course-changing action.

  • 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,”

  • Canada must (and can) take control of drug prices

    … $13.7-billion in patented medicines were sold in this country in 2014; if Canadians had paid the OECD average instead of our own inflated prices, the bill would have been $3.6-billion less… Prices for identical drugs vary between provinces, for no good reason; brand-name drugs are too often prescribed when similarly effective and much cheaper generics would do the job; and generic prices in Canada are also among the highest in the world.

  • There’s room for competition in public health care

    … in Britain, any reforms which encourage competition and choice are viewed as covert attempts to privatize our revered NHS (National Health Service)… Reforms in England have sought to increase competition between hospitals for public funds. The bottom line is these have benefited patients – but introducing more choice and competition also means the rules of the game need to be carefully designed and monitored.

  • Medicare doesn’t have to be expensive. Just look at Israel

    … per-capita pharmaceutical spending in Israel is $287… well below that of Canada’s $761 and the OECD average of $527… several features of the Israeli approach… include the setting of an annual budget; the consideration of all proposed new medications simultaneously… the involvement of all key players in the prioritization process; using the prioritization process to secure concessions… – price and volume; and a growing level of transparency.

  • 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.