• How to put Indigenous children first

    Step one: Establish the office of a Children’s Ombudsperson that is independent of government with order making powers to initiate investigations and ensure government departments are in compliance with their obligations to ensure full access of services… Canada will never be the nation it was meant to be until we understand that the greatest wealth in our nation is not the gold, the oil or the diamonds — it is the potential of children.

  • Ottawa’s focus on data a good step in addressing gender-based violence

    An epidemic such as gender-based violence can’t be solved without first understanding who is affected and how… the Trudeau government’s sensible new strategy on gender-based violence, which was announced this week, will focus foremost on modernizing research and collecting up-to-date data. These are crucial steps in addressing a deep-rooted problem ignored by Ottawa for far too long.

  • If we don’t fix medicare, we may lose it

    … the Ontario Health Coalition is the latest to sound the alarm. It found that at least 88 private health clinics in six provinces regularly charge patients hundreds or thousands of dollars for needed diagnoses, tests or surgeries. In some cases, doctors levy user fees and bill the public system, charging twice for the same service… Such exploitative extra charges are prohibited by the Canada Health Act, yet these clinics operate with impunity.

  • Health care: What should we be paying for?

    … the evidence has found that allowing private payment does indeed make the publicly available care worse. More promising approaches to improving wait times include both making sure the necessary resources are in place, and learning from engineers and improving queue management, including encouraging single points of entry… if we are going to invest more money, place it where we can improve peoples’ health

  • Stop turning a blind eye to double-dipping docs

    Why aren’t the 12 medical associations that regulate doctors in the provinces and territories reining in this exploitative behaviour? And what about the people who are ultimately responsible for the health care system: the governments of the provinces and territories. Why aren’t they doing anything about it? … Ottawa and the provinces should at least regulate the fees charged by private clinics.

  • Health-care system a free-for-all for double-dipping doctors

    There is no question that waits for surgery are too long… due to an array of engineering and administrative shortcomings. The solution to these problems is to fix the public system, to make it more efficient… in countries that deliver care efficiently and cost-effectively, publicly funded care is administered well, and privately funded care is regulated well.

  • Some doctors are charging both government and patients privately in illegal double-dipping practice

    Even in Ontario, long considered tough on extra-billing, and where the government investigated 314 complaints in the last five years, none of the doctors involved was sanctioned. More than one-third were made to refund their patients, but were then able to bill the province for those treatments… “I think it’s an abdication of the responsibility of government,” says Dr. Etches, of Doctors for Medicare. “The private clinics are now deeply entrenched in the health-care system … and that lies at the feet of the politicians.”

  • Ontario makes bold promise on autism treatment

    The new Ontario autism program will give all children under 18 years of age diagnosed with the developmental disorder access to the treatment they require when they need it… The age, severity of autism symptoms and the presence of coexisting diagnoses will no longer affect the eligibility for therapy… Each child’s treatment needs will be determined by a licensed clinician, not cold and blunt program guidelines or funding availability… parents will be able to hire qualified therapists or choose government services.

  • Open Pharma wants public to know ties between MDs and pharmaceutical industry

    … the Open Pharma campaign is not “anti-pharma,” nor does it aim to ban industry involvement with the medical profession. It’s about being open about relationships in the interest of upholding public confidence… “Canada at the moment seems like it’s a laggard in this regard… The world is moving in the direction of providing patients with context about interactions between the pharmaceutical industry and doctors.”

  • New Ontario legislation ensures workers can take at least 10 sick days a year without a doctor’s note

    Bosses will be banned from asking employees for sick notes if they take 10 or fewer days a year under proposed legislation that would take effect next January 1. The measure… means fewer wasted appointments for doctors and allows workers to stay home and get well instead of spreading their germs around… the law will ensure all workers are entitled to at least 10 personal emergency leave days annually — two of which must be paid.