• A Prescription for Better Health for Canadians

    … helping families raising children, would have a much bigger impact on the average Canadian’s health than spending more on the health-care system would… The worse a person’s childhood is, the more risk there is of everything from obesity and diabetes to substance abuse and suicide. If we really want to get upstream and prevent illness, it means doing more to support people who are raising children. It would take pressure off the health-care system and save money, but only in the long term.

  • Filling the Cavities in Canada’s Dental Coverage

    A straightforward way of creating universality would be to gradually expand and merge existing public plans until everyone in the population was covered. However, universality does not necessarily mean that everyone must be insured through the same plan. As an alternative, we explore a mixed model with competition between private and public insurance in our recent C.D. Howe Institute report.

  • A nurse just lost her freedom to criticize health care. That’s bad for everyone

    The alleged harm was to the sensibilities of some nurses in the Macklin nursing home. (We note the irony that, while no one has contested Strom’s assertion that her grandfather received substandard care, his alleged harm was of no relevance to the hearing or the decision.) There should be a much higher bar for finding someone guilty of professional misconduct where the alleged victims are not members of the public, but peers, and where the nature of the offence is speech.

  • A prescription for curing Ontario’s Ministry of Health

    Continuity of care is the vertical integration of systems to create an environment of quality patient care over time. Simply, it is the coordination of medical services across hospitals, clinics and the community that enables individuals to receive comprehensive and efficient care… In order for our health-care system to develop immunity against political epidemics, our health agency should be completely independent of the government.

  • Clarity needed on what drug manufacturers are paying doctors millions of dollars for

    … it’s disquieting to know that Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin paid Canadian doctors $2 million in 2016 for services rendered. And, according to reporting by the Star’s Jesse McLean, that means the drug manufacturer paid Canadian doctors three times the amount it paid American doctors on a per capita basis… Full disclosure will make physicians more cautious about accepting payments that may influence how they treat their patients.

  • “Public Option” Could Fill Gaps in Dental Coverage

    A universal single-payer dental insurance plan, or a public default plan that would cover everyone who doesn’t have an approved private plan, would ensure that no one would have to forgo urgently needed dental care for financial reasons. If properly managed, a public plan that anyone could use as an option would also put competitive pressure on private insurance, and indirectly on the dentists and allied professionals who supply the services.

  • Can Canada reinvent the plastic economy?

    Stop the irrational level of plastic waste; Systematically ensure reduction of unnecessary products; Ensure reuse and recycling – with thoughtful cradle-to-grave product design; Replace petroleum inputs with benign materials… Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has already called for the G7 to develop a “zero plastics waste charter,” and there is talk of a global treaty… there must be more than a photo op, a news release and a general call for global action.

  • Is every medical school graduate entitled to become a doctor?

    We have more doctors, in absolute numbers and per capita, than ever before. But we have a growing problem of maldistribution. Everyone wants to be a specialist and everyone wants to practice in a big city – largely because our pay scales tell us that is what is valued. We don’t need more doctors, we need more more general practitioners, especially in rural and remote areas. If medical students don’t want those jobs, then perhaps we’re not attracting the right people to medical school.

  • Why Trudeau may take a pass on universal pharmacare, despite his party’s wishes

    Canada spends more on prescription drugs, through a chaotic mix of public, private and individual payers, than nearly every other country on earth: $34 billion annually, or roughly $1,000 per capita — a third higher than the OECD average, and twice what countries like Denmark and the Netherlands pay. Yet an estimated 10 per cent of our people have no drug insurance — two to three times the rate in comparable countries — while another 10 per cent are classed as under-insured…

  • We must kill plastic to save ourselves

    … once an issue transforms into a human health concern, it becomes far more likely to be taken up by our elected leaders, noticed by the general public and consequently solved… What we are witnessing now is the genesis of another human health problem that I believe has the potential to dominate public debate over the next decade: the discovery that tiny plastic particles are permeating every human on earth.