• Health-care spending projected to jump nearly 4% this year, report finds

    The CIHI report states that… aging is only a “modest driver” of increasing health-care costs, estimated at nearly 1 per cent annually… among the three largest spending categories – hospitals, drugs and physicians, which together account for more than 60 per cent of the overall expenditure – pharmaceutical costs continue to increase at the fastest pace. This has been true since 2015, due partly to the increased use of high-cost patented drugs.

  • Ontario must make bail reform meaningful

    If you own a house, have a job, and have family or friends who can pledge a sizable sum of money and act as supervisors, you are likely to soon be on your way home… immigrants, the mentally ill, racialized groups, and the poor stand the least chance of being released on bail. Despite remaining wholly innocent under the law, they lose their freedom for months or years as the criminal process plays out.

  • Hallway medicine: Do we really need more hospital beds?

    In Ontario alone, there are almost 4,000 “alternate level of care” (ALC) patients (7,500 Canada-wide), an Orwellian euphemism used to describe people who have been discharged but continue to live in hospitals because they have nowhere else to go, for lack of long-term-care beds and home-care spots. Surely before we start reopening dilapidated old hospitals, we should start by getting ALC patients into more appropriate care.

  • It’s time for a data-driven approach to health care

    … the Big Three – hospitals, physicians and drugs – gobble up more than 60 per cent of total spending, and they have since we started compiling national health data in Canada in 1975. That is a sharp reminder that, despite all the talk about the importance of community care and the need for care to be delivered by multidisciplinary teams, we have a hospital-centric, physician-driven health system.

  • Reopening old hospitals is the wrong remedy

    Was this an inevitable failure? No. Was the direction of expanding community care wrong? No. More care at home and in the community, was, and still is, the right direction. This failure is overwhelmingly a failure of delivery. At almost every point the political will was too weak, the sense of urgency almost completely lacking and the clarity of leadership muffled in rhetoric and lost in endless process.

  • Apology to LGBTQ community first step toward healing

    The record of how LGBTQ2 Canadians were treated by their own government, and the human pain and cost that resulted because of that treatment, is egregious… “People were watched, followed, interrogated and purged from their jobs” … Lives were lost to suicide… “All queer Canadians deserve truth and reconciliation for the historical misuses of state power that eroded their human dignity.”

  • Respite centres are welcome, but just stop-gap measure for homeless

    Ottawa provides no funding for the city’s emergency shelter system, and the province’s contribution is fixed, no matter the increase in those in need of a bed. And neither senior government is kicking in enough money to repair the subsidized housing that currently exists, never mind building more… the cost of having 5,253 people on Toronto streets added up to $420,000 a night… putting the homeless into social housing would be just $34,000 a night.

  • Ontario takes an important step toward a fairer bail system

    The key point in the new policy is that accused persons should not have to provide a surety, except in exceptional circumstances, in order to be released… Ontario has opened “bail beds” in halfway houses. People can be sent there, instead of to jail, if they are homeless… Jails were created for those convicted of crimes. The new bail policy will go a long way to ensure that Ontario’s prisons stop being used as expensive warehouses for the disadvantaged, the racialized, Indigenous peoples, and the mentally ill.

  • Bernie Sanders lauds Canadian health-care system in Toronto speech

    “if you want to expand and protect health care or education, there are people out there in every country in the world who think it is more important to give tax breaks to the richest people … what we need to do is take those oligarchs on.” … What went mostly unsaid during Mr. Sanders’s speech is that while Canada’s health-care system can look great compared with that of the United States, it can still fare poorly next to comparable countries.

  • Bernie Sanders brings Canadian doctors into U.S. health-care debate

    … U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders emailed a group of Canadian doctors with questions about Canada’s health-care system. He wanted to know what it was like to be a doctor that didn’t ask their patients for money at the end of an appointment… what it was like for a patient to not worry about insurance. Sanders team… made videos of doctors answering these questions for a social media campaign advocating for a single-payer health-care system in the U.S., similar to Canada’s.