• NDP’s universal pharmacare proposal seems a prime target for Liberal burglary

    Canada is alone in having a public healthcare system that does not have a parallel public pharma plan. The House of Commons health committee is set to release a major report on pharmacare next month, which sources suggest will recommend folding prescription drugs into a negotiated national formulary. Through an amendment to Canada Health Act this would allow the provinces to administer the newly expanded coverage.

  • Universal health care’s humble origins

    Viewed solely in economic terms, Britain could not afford the NHS in 1946. That the NHS was created speaks to a conscious decision on the part of government to prioritize health care and social services. Ultimately, what a society can or cannot afford is a policy decision… / The creation of the NHS was a courageous decision by the Labour Party to radically improve the lives of British people. It benefited most sectors of society – hence the continuing broad support for it.

  • Is our health system destined to follow a U.S. trajectory?

    Growing gaps in drug and dental coverage, especially for working-class Canadians with no or inadequate employer benefits, means more lower-income Canadians will skip trips to the dentist or won’t fill prescriptions. Wealth gaps among the provinces means Canadians in some regions will have access to better and more timely care than those in other parts of the country.

  • NAFTA will undermine health unless Canada resists monopolies on medicines

    There are two potential changes to NAFTA that threaten to derail progress toward affordable access to medicines: First, U.S. trade representatives are advancing Big Pharma’s demand for more restrictive intellectual property rules, pushing longer patent terms and “data exclusivity” rules… Second, business lobbies are pushing hard to maintain and expand the widely-denounced “investor-state dispute settlement” mechanism currently found in NAFTA.

  • New CAMH centre focuses on treating adults with ‘childhood conditions’

    Indeed, some 45 per cent of adults with developmental disorders — which also include such things as Asperger’s and Fragile X syndromes — suffer from concurrent mental health problems like anxiety, depression and addiction, Lunsky says. Yet there’s been sparse research and even less training into how these associated conditions can best be diagnosed and treated in developmentally disabled adults

  • The #metoo moment is important, but don’t forget the last one

    The #metoo moment… is a consciousness-raising fuelled in its reach and breadth by social media. It is a generation of women who feel they were sold a bill of goods when they were told they were equal. They are asking us: “How can this be true when our lives are curtailed by sexual violence?” … Let’s build on the moment of shock and dismay to create an adequately funded national strategy that uses this moment of holding politicians… and leave a changed future for the women and men who follow.

  • Provinces Rank from Bad to Worse in Healthcare Survey of International Peers: C.D. Howe Institute

    … Provinces’ overall performance ranks in bottom tier of advanced western countries, placing them only above the United States, and in some cases, France… despite medicare’s egalitarian principles, provinces have among the lowest equity scores across all Commonwealth Fund countries. Drug and dental care access is linked to income levels. After-hours access to a regular doctor and time spent with a physician also differ by income level.

  • School guidance counsellors ‘stretched’ amid rising mental health needs

    “Principals are saying ‘we’ve got a crisis here in terms of the mental health piece, and we don’t have enough staff to address it, either through psychologists and social workers or through guidance’” … With only half the schools able to regularly access a psychologist and a shortage of school social workers, “the role of guidance counsellors may be stretched to fill the gaps,” says the report.

  • Prescription for healthier population: spend more on social services

    A one-cent increase in social spending for every dollar spent on health care increases life expectancy and cuts premature death, study shows… Dutton and his fellow researchers looked at health and social spending in nine provinces over 31 years from 1981 to 2011 and compared it to three population health measures: potentially avoidable death, life expectancy and infant mortality… “More social spending was associated with a more positive outcome. Life expectancy went up and potentially avoidable mortality went down,”

  • We need to focus more on mental-health care

    … access to appropriate, effective mental-health care needs to be seen as a basic human right and component of a publicly funded health-care system. / People suffering mental illness were deinstitutionalized without necessary community supports, to be managed by law enforcement and ER staff who lack the skills and facilities to respond respectfully. / The article understates real-world factors (marginalization, social determinants, and access to competent help) that can thwart the potential impacts of even the most cutting-edge research.