• Most mental-health patients don’t get timely psychiatric care in Ontario, study finds

    Basically, the system allows for the most expensive and highly trained experts in the field to provide long-term, psychological treatment to people who may not need it – while the most severely ill wait in line for even an initial consultation… in countries such as Britain and Australia… psychiatrists serve almost exclusively as consultants, provide continuing care for the most severe mental illnesses, and are paid significantly less to provide talk therapy.

  • Better planning could save Ontario hundreds of millions in health costs: Auditor-General

    For 20 commonly used generic drugs, Ontario paid $100-million more than the cost of the same drugs in New Zealand… the Kiwis tender competitive bids from drug manufacturers, something Ontario does not do… the Health Ministry spends more on generic drugs than the province’s hospitals – who can buy drugs through their own programs… Despite significant advances in technology, the government has not updated the list of prices it pays for laboratory tests in nearly 20 years, according to the report… Had a new price list been in place, the government could have saved $39-million last year alone.

  • Prescription drug costs should be fair – not cheap

    … the federal government has introduced new regulations that, if implemented, will result in the biggest shake-up in prescription drug pricing in 30 years… [with] estimated savings of $12.7-billion over 10 years… countries are moving away from international price comparisons and embracing concepts like value-based pricing – where drugs are reimbursed based on how well they work. This requires active and transparent negotiation with industry, not just imposing new formulas.

  • Ottawa starts healing process with LGBTQ apology

    Over our history, laws and policies enacted by the government led to the legitimization of much more than inequality – they legitimized hatred and violence, and brought shame to those targeted,” the Prime Minister said. “The state orchestrated a culture of stigma and fear around LGBTQ2 communities. And in doing so, destroyed people’s lives.

  • Formerly homeless, they’re now advising doctors drafting Canada’s street health guidelines

    … the most important issue for the 84 health-care workers and homeless advocates as well as the 76 people who are or have been homeless was housing… “If you think about it, if somebody’s homeless and you’re trying to fix everything else but the housing it doesn’t make sense.” … The guidelines could recommend that doctors refer homeless patients to programs that provide housing vouchers or accommodation that is not contingent on them staying clean and sober so that they can focus on recovering without worrying about where they’ll sleep at night.

  • Apology to LGBTQ community first step toward healing

    To be effective, apologies must acknowledge the offence and harms done. They must express remorse. They must undertake to learn from the experience and not repeat offensive behaviours. And they must make reparation… “All queer Canadians deserve truth and reconciliation for the historical misuses of state power that eroded their human dignity.” … Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s apology on behalf of Canadians… will be a welcome step toward a more just society.

  • Stop debating age and actually teach us about consent

    We need to learn that consent can be affected by power dynamics, the influence of substances and perceived safety. In order for us to feel safe and empowered in our decisions, conversations must be constant and reflective of our experience. Education has to start young, acknowledging that consent is not only mandatory for sex but also for any kind of healthy relationship… So, we have to keep talking about it, a thousand times over, until things start to change.

  • There is a prescription for poverty’s punishing impact on health in Ontario

    One of the reasons poverty is expensive is because people living in poverty have higher rates of chronic disease, including diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Children in low-income families are at higher risk of diagnosed mental health problems, nutritional deficiencies, asthma and injury… Aside from being inadequate, our social assistance programs are dysfunctional… With the cost of poverty at more than $32 billion per year in Ontario, we can’t afford to continue with the same flawed system…

  • Don’t link mental illness with violent crime

    We concluded, as have others before us, that public fears of the mentally ill greatly exceed the actual risk of violence posed by such persons. A small number of people may pose an increased risk to others, but this risk is a result of acute symptoms that can respond to treatment. Policies of social inclusion, stigma reduction and providing people with care are the most important steps to advance the well-being of individuals with mental illness; this may facilitate an even lower risk of violence to others.

  • It’s time for Canada to measure up on kids with disabilities

    “What gets measured gets done.” Better information on the nature and needs of children and youth with disability is essential for policymakers to predict and plan for improved provision of efficient, equitable and inclusive services and supports. Better data will also allow for a deeper understanding of the education and employment requirements, how these influence important outcomes such as income, as well as challenges in accessing services for those with disability.