• The truth behind wait times and private health care

    We have emergent issues to address in our health care system, but most come from its two-tiered part, not its universal part. Thirty per cent of our system is private… Our health outcomes are impaired by the lack of non-physician public health care: lack of dental care that drives people to the ED for tooth pain, lack of physiotherapy that results in a reliance on opiates for back pain rather than desperately needed manual therapy, and a lack of pharmacare that ends in 1-in-10 Canadians being unable to fill their prescriptions.

  • Higher minimum wage a boost for health

    Nearly two million people living in poverty in Ontario will suffer if the Doug Ford government follows through with plans to slam the brakes on raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour in January. A higher minimum wage enables more Ontarians to maintain their health rather than fall prey to illnesses such as malnutrition, diabetes and heart disease, which impose far greater costs in the long run.

  • How poverty and precarious work killed a healthy Toronto man

    This man had been depending on odd jobs to meet his basic needs. His casual employers certainly didn’t offer sick days, and he simply couldn’t spare the money he’d lose by missing work to see a doctor. This man died from poverty. He died from precarious, unsafe work. He died from making just one of the many impossible choices that we saddle on people living in poverty: getting the health care that could have saved his life conflicted with a job that had so far allowed him to survive.

  • Ontario’s child protection system fails children, again

    Just yanking kids from their homes, especially when they are placed into a system that has repeatedly proven incapable of dealing with their complex needs, isn’t a solution. The panel was struck by how often these kids were classified as “safe with intervention.” The tragedy is that they were far from safe because they didn’t get the constructive intervention they needed.

  • After-hours patient care needs rethinking

    Our recent study found that emergency department use did not decrease for patients who joined the new practice models. Between 2003 and 2014, there was actually an increase in the rate of emergency department visits in Ontario, particularly during the day. At the same time, the overall rate of visits to family doctors went down but family doctors seemed to be providing more after-hours care.

  • Study shows how national pharmacare plan could work

    The authors are scathingly critical of those… who would use pharmacare to merely “fill in the gaps” left by existing private and public plans. Such an approach, they write, is merely a euphemism for off-loading the drug costs of expensive, high-risk patients onto the public system while leaving private insurers free to focus on those who are relatively healthy and thus more profitable… to be at all useful, a national pharmacare system must be universal…

  • Decriminalization is one powerful force to ease the overdose crisis

    When possession of drugs is a crime, it creates giant barriers to harm reduction and treatment. First and foremost, it means drugs will be supplied by criminals, and the supply will be unregulated, potentially unsafe and over-priced. This, in turn, means more overdoses, more deaths and more hospitalizations.

  • Ontario can’t afford to fumble on the opioid crisis

    Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott would have to be wilfully deaf not to hear the loud and clear message from health care experts… [that] these facilities save lives… if the “community members” Elliott is consulting with are concerned about the supposed “chaos” around drug injection sites that some have complained about, they should consider the alternative. That is people dying of overdoses on the streets outside their homes.

  • Ont. teachers take legal action on sex ed

    One of Ontario’s largest teacher’s union has launched a legal challenge against the government’s decision to repeal a modernized version of the province’s sexual-education curriculum… ETFO President Sam Hammond said the government’s changes to the curriculum are reckless and put students at risk. He said the union’s legal action is vital to ensure that educators and school boards can continue to protect the safety and health of students. “It also seeks to stop the operation of this unnecessary and counterproductive complaint or snitch line”

  • Our Biggest Health Factor Is Largely Ignored

    … for most people, for most diseases, knowledge isn’t enough… There are much larger forces underlying the choices individuals make that have a much larger effect on how healthy we are as a people. Often described as the “social determinants of health,” these forces play out across populations, providing an answer to the question of why some people appear to make worse choices than others, and pointing towards why some people are healthier than others.