• Don’t let social housing crumble

    … allowing the corporation’s units to keep deteriorating and be shut down would lead to higher health-care spending, rising crime and a host of other social costs… investing in repairs would create thousands of jobs, spur private investment, and generate billions of extra dollars in federal and provincial taxes. For both social and economic reasons, the provincial and federal governments must commit money for much-needed repairs before this crisis deepens.

  • Innovations in Healthcare Should Focus More on Cost-Effectiveness

    Provincial governments, with support from Ottawa, should experiment with new models of provider payment that strengthen their incentive to adopt cost-effective drugs, treatment methods, and diagnostic tests… Patients should be empowered with information… Governments should also work on creating a system of Health Technology Assessment…

  • 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.

  • Ontario autism program will soon include direct funding as option

    … the $533-million Ontario Autism Program beginning next month will soon include a direct funding option, something families have long been clamouring for… A government-commissioned analysis about 10 years ago found that the average cost per hour for direct service was $55, versus $37 for direct funding — something Ontario’s auditor general highlighted in a 2013 report.

  • 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.

  • The elephant in the classroom amid school closings

    Our one province is blessed with four distinct school systems, divided along religious and language lines, which cut the pedagogical pie into smaller and less sustainable schools… Instead of pointless overspending, or painful streamlining, surely amalgamating school boards — on geographical rather than religious grounds — is the answer.

  • 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.

  • I ran a charity for years. Joe Oliver is wrong about the damage his government did

    … advocating for a change in law or policy is not the same thing as political activism … at all… If a senior citizens’ charity decided to run a public campaign urging for crosswalks to be replaced with traffic lights at crossings near seniors’ homes, that would also be considered a political activity… How can charities make the world a better place if they’re not able to identify laws and policies that should be changed?

  • Dismantling the Welfare Wall for Persons with Disabilities 

    For most Canadians with disabilities, the promise of the social security system far exceeds its performance, especially for persons with severe impairment. Many cannot qualify for public or private insurance because the eligibility criteria require employment or the programs are delivered as a workplace benefit. Thousands of individuals with serious disabilities end up on social assistance or welfare – the leanest of Canada’s social programs.