• Why Canadian medical students should be offered free tuition

    The move has three principal goals: Free future doctors of the crushing debt load many are saddled with; Give graduates the freedom to pursue lower-paying careers in family medicine and pediatrics rather than high-paying specialties such as cardiology (which some do to deal with debt); Attract the best and brightest students rather than just those who can afford medical school and, in the process, a student body that better reflects the society, in terms of race, gender, ethnicity and socio-economic status.

  • Safe injection sites are an ethical imperative, not a political option

    This week, Toronto Police reported seven fatal overdoses in 12 days, all in the same area of the city where one of the sites was set to open… The health minister cited a need to review “the merit” of overdose prevention sites despite experts in the field warning that a pause in services could mean “we’ll have a lot more dead people.” … Safe injection and opioid overdose prevention sites are a matter of life or death, an ethical imperative and not a political “option.”

  • It’s time for politicians to take food insecurity and poverty seriously

    One of the biggest challenges in effectively tackling poverty is that we have made it the responsibility of charity. Our over reliance on food banks and corporate food charity as our default response has proven ineffective at achieving long-term change. Also consider that 21 per cent of food banks report having had to turn people away because there was no food to give out. We need to focus on food as a human right and building a food system that includes the elimination of poverty and food insecurity.

  • Ford’s government starts its misguided moves against safe injection sites

    Last year, nearly 4,000 Canadians died from opioid overdoses. And 1,100 of those deaths were in Ontario and over 300 of them in Toronto… Ford’s government hasn’t just stopped three urgently-needed facilities from opening, it seems all but ready to close existing sites and throw the province’s entire harm-reduction strategy out the window… Ford announced during the election campaign that he was “dead set” against the sites…

  • Ontario PC government orders freeze to opening of new overdose-prevention sites

    As the Ontario government reviews whether it should continue supporting supervised drug-use and overdose prevention sites, it has ordered a halt to the opening of any new temporary facilities to combat the opioid crisis… “The minister has been clear that she is undertaking an evidence-based review of the overdose prevention and supervised consumption site models to ensure that any continuation of these services introduce people into rehabilitation”

  • Take profit motive out of drug research

    “for pharmaceutical companies, there is little profit incentive to invest in drugs that quickly cure patients; medicine for chronic conditions presents a more tempting return on investment… ”Since the rise of neoliberalism, governments have increasingly stepped away from research in favour of letting profit-oriented private companies take the lead. The result has been a huge increase in lifestyle drugs, while life-saving drugs are often just a byproduct… Our governments need to reclaim their lead role in research and development so that they follow society’s needs instead of profits.

  • Health-care professionals speak out against changing Ontario’s sex-ed curriculum

    Nearly 1,800 health-care professionals are adding their voices to those urging the provincial government to keep the updated sex-ed curriculum… saying the old curriculum — which was used starting in 1998 — is unsafe for kids… many educators are worried that by teaching the outdated lessons they will actually be violating “their professional obligation to protect the health and well-being of students,” and that the Canadian Civil Liberties Association says schools boards are required to be inclusive.

  • Abandoning the red Tory tradition hurting the most vulnerable

    … something cruel and uncaring has developed in Canadian and especially Ontario politics, a new conservatism that has abandoned the paternalism of the red Tory tradition, and replaced it with harshness, division, and a disregard for those who are most in need of our concern and empathy. Whether it’s using dismissive language about migrants, cutting promised minimum wage and welfare increases, or ending guaranteed income schemes, it stinks of something almost Dickensian.

  • Let the light shine on top-billing doctors in Ontario

    It’s high time Ontario taxpayers had more information about where the $12 billion paid to doctors goes… In Ontario, without comprehensive information, we’re left with general complaints about an underfunded and inefficient health-care system, juxtaposed with the troubling picture brought to light in a health ministry audit four years ago. How can one doctor bill for 100,000 patients in a single year? Why did the province’s dozen top-billing doctors received payments averaging $4 million apiece, with one billing $7 million?

  • Doug Ford’s social assistance cuts put Ontario’s health at risk

    … our hearts collectively sank as Premier Doug Ford’s Conservatives announced devastating changes to Ontario’s social assistance program… As physicians, we know that income is strongly tied to health. People in poverty have shorter life expectancies and are more likely to suffer from mental illness, addiction, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes… Poverty also has major impacts on our health-care system as a whole, costing an estimated $32 billion yearly in Ontario due to increased use of health services, social assistance, justice services, and lost productivity.