• Canada should listen to wake-up call on health care

    … according to the data, access to health care could be greatly improved if we had more doctors. Among the 11 advanced countries, Canada has the fewest doctors per 1,000 residents. In 2014, we had 2.5 doctors for every thousand people. Norway had 4.4 and the U.S. was only slightly better than Canada, with 2.6… the government has successfully controlled spending on doctors’ services, but it comes at a cost.

  • Ottawa’s tax reforms don’t go far enough

    Tax expenditures now account for upwards of $100 billion of forgone revenue annually, about a quarter of all government spending. Yet, unlike other government outlays, they are not subject to significant parliamentary scrutiny or even government study. No one seems to know exactly how much is lost through these loopholes, or whether they achieve their stated objectives… these tax breaks… too often benefit most those who need help least, deepening rather than mitigating economic inequality.

  • PET brain scans show many Alzheimer’s patients may not actually have the disease

    A significant portion of people with mild cognitive impairment or dementia who are taking medication for Alzheimer’s may not actually have the disease… The findings could change the way doctors treat people in these hard-to-diagnose groups and save money currently being spent on inappropriate medication… “we’re getting a 66 per cent change… of people who are on a drug and didn’t need to be on those drugs.”

  • Ottawa targets income ‘sprinkling’ loophole that lets wealthy Canadians reduce tax bill

    Wealthy Canadians can now legally reduce their tax obligations by routing their incomes through private corporations. They then pay salaries to family members, such as their children, who are subject to lower personal tax rates or none at all. The government is working on new rules that would “help to determine whether compensation is reasonable, based on the family member’s contribution of value and financial resources to the private corporation,”

  • Canada committed to improving mental health in Indigenous communities

    Preventing suicide requires achieving social equity. We have already taken important steps by investing in key social determinants of health, such as housing, education and the environment. While these are first steps, our intent is to continue investing in all areas in pursuit of social equity… Promoting life and preventing suicide requires respect for Indigenous knowledge and practices…

  • Covering drugs for young people isn’t the best way to fill gaps in health care

    In an international health survey, about 11 per cent of Ontarians said they may not fill a drug prescription due to cost, but roughly three times that many say they skip dental services for that reason. Further, far too many young people end up in emergency rooms for severe mental health issues; others walk around with improper prescription eyeglasses or rely heavily on family caregivers for home support.

  • Makers of OxyContin, Percocet sued by U.S. governments over opioid crisis

    Their suit is part of a wave of litigation against pharmaceutical companies by states, counties and local prosecutors besieged by the worst addiction crisis in American history… Opioid overdoses killed 33,000 people in the U.S. in 2015, about three times the number of gun homicides. The intensity of the crisis, and likely the fact that many of the victims are white middle-class suburbanites with political clout, has produced a bipartisan shift in perceptions of addiction.

  • Financial information of universities and degree-granting colleges, 2015/2016

    Canada’s 150 public universities and degree-granting institutions spent $27.1 billion in 2015/2016, up from $26.8 billion in 2014/2015. Revenues fell from $28.4 billion in 2014/2015 to $27.2 billion in 2015/2016… The proportion of provincial funding decreased from 41.5% in 2010/2011 to 39.1% in 2015/2016… The proportion of revenues from tuition fees has grown from 21.5% in 2010/2011 to 27.9% in 2015/2016.

  • Carrot Rewards app gets $1.5 million boost from Ontario government

    Carrot Rewards was developed with the help of the Public Health Agency of Canada as well as health-based charities. “This innovative digital platform is encouraging and incentivizing healthy choices, and helping to improve the overall health and well-being of people across the province,” … “Features such as the loyalty program, personal goal tracking and the quizzes aim to make leading a healthier life easier and show that improving your health can be fun, too.”

  • It’s time to tear down the “welfare wall” for persons with disabilities

    … plenty can be done by both the federal and provincial/territorial governments to tear down the “welfare wall.” … Ottawa could assume responsibility for income security for persons with disabilities, whether they are working or not… The shift to federal authority would result in a windfall savings to provinces and territories… [which] would help Ottawa achieve its twin goals of poverty reduction and inclusive growth.