• Social murder and the Doug Ford government

    In 1845, Friedrich Engels described the phenomena by which working-class residents in Manchester died prematurely because of their living and working conditions. He did not simply label the occurrence as we usually do today: “Premature deaths due to unfortunate circumstances,” but rather coined the term “social murder” to make explicit the source of these premature deaths. This extensive quote from his Condition of the Working Class in England begs careful attention in relation to the austerity agenda of Premier Doug Ford.

  • How Canada became an international surrogacy destination

    Many people want to be parents and can’t do so without surrogacy, but they live in countries where surrogacy is either prohibited entirely, or prohibited for them… Canada is one of the few jurisdictions left in the world that both allows surrogacy and allows foreign participation in it… Canada… does not allow discrimination on the basis of marital status or sexual orientation… Canada is also fairly efficient about granting legal parental rights… A big question is whether Canadians need to think about recovering medical costs.

  • The truth behind wait times and private health care

    We have emergent issues to address in our health care system, but most come from its two-tiered part, not its universal part. Thirty per cent of our system is private… Our health outcomes are impaired by the lack of non-physician public health care: lack of dental care that drives people to the ED for tooth pain, lack of physiotherapy that results in a reliance on opiates for back pain rather than desperately needed manual therapy, and a lack of pharmacare that ends in 1-in-10 Canadians being unable to fill their prescriptions.

  • Resources don’t match need for surgery

    We have just eight full-time neurosurgeons and four orthopedists serving the regional referral population of 2.4 million. Everybody has an elective wait list one to two years long. It is months before we can look after acutely disabled people. None of us in this province operates as much as we could under the resource restrictions of a system that has failed to match the simple growth of the population for decades, never mind the growth of technology and care options.

  • One solution to hallway medicine: outpatient hip-replacements

    Thirty years ago, this procedure would have required a hospital stay of up to seven days, and more recently it’s taken an average of three days… Women’s College is the only fully ambulatory hospital in Ontario, meaning it has no overnight beds. It describes itself as “a hospital designed to keep people out of hospital.” Part of its mission is to help improve the broader health system. One way it’s trying to do that is by spreading the word about the advantages of ambulatory, or outpatient, surgery.

  • Ontarians did not sign up for deep cuts in services

    … According to that report [by financial consultants EY Canada and released last week] Ontario could “reconsider application of universality to all programs,” opting instead for “means-testing to selected programs.” … It provides no specifics. But just about the only two services the province provides to Ontarians without a fee, regardless of their income, are health care and public education.

  • Higher minimum wage a boost for health

    Nearly two million people living in poverty in Ontario will suffer if the Doug Ford government follows through with plans to slam the brakes on raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour in January. A higher minimum wage enables more Ontarians to maintain their health rather than fall prey to illnesses such as malnutrition, diabetes and heart disease, which impose far greater costs in the long run.

  • Minimum wage hike a necessity and must be preserved

    Today, nearly two million people in Ontario will put in a hard day’s work for little money. Their paycheques won’t even cover the basic necessities, so they will likely have to deny themselves and their children of items such as healthy food, medicine, new shoes or books for school — things many of us take for granted.

  • After-hours patient care needs rethinking

    Our recent study found that emergency department use did not decrease for patients who joined the new practice models. Between 2003 and 2014, there was actually an increase in the rate of emergency department visits in Ontario, particularly during the day. At the same time, the overall rate of visits to family doctors went down but family doctors seemed to be providing more after-hours care.

  • Study shows how national pharmacare plan could work

    The authors are scathingly critical of those… who would use pharmacare to merely “fill in the gaps” left by existing private and public plans. Such an approach, they write, is merely a euphemism for off-loading the drug costs of expensive, high-risk patients onto the public system while leaving private insurers free to focus on those who are relatively healthy and thus more profitable… to be at all useful, a national pharmacare system must be universal…