• NDP promises $12-a-day child care and lower deficits if elected

    The New Democrats’ fiscal plan, signed off on as “reasonable” by former parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page, is bolstered by higher taxes. An NDP government would raise the corporate tax rate to 13 per cent from 11.5 per cent, close big business loopholes, and increase personal income tax on amounts earned more than $220,000 by one percentage point and on earnings more than $300,000 by two percentage points.

  • The case for decriminalizing drugs

    Politicians and the public often oversimplify the decriminalization debate, assuming those who don’t forbid drug use must therefore condone it. But we should all be able to agree on a few things: it’s better if fewer people have drug-related problems, and it’s better if fewer people die… In truth, we have little to show for the vast societal resources consumed by our current policy, aside from overburdened police, courts and prisons. Put simply, tough drug laws don’t result in fewer drug-related problems and deaths. They do the opposite.

  • Fix information gaps in health-care system

    one-in-five Canadians with chronic conditions have experienced medication errors or duplications. Medication errors put patients unnecessarily in harm’s way, but they are preventable. With proper care co-ordination and shared electronic health records, health-care providers can make informed decisions and reduce the chance of medication errors… every misdiagnosis, redundant procedure and unnecessary question adds to wait times and subtracts from budgets.

  • A plan to overhaul Canadian health care systems

    … core elements: A strong national drug agency to provide the necessary machinery to support universal pharmacare… a strong data and technology agency that will help collect and link information, feeding it back to patients and the people who deliver care to them so health care can learn and improve… [and] a “signature” agency, one that will embody the value the government wishes to pursue most aggressively – be it efficiency, innovation, engagement or equity.

  • What should and shouldn’t be covered by medicare?

    The inconsistent coverage of mental health care (and psychological services in particular), home care and prescription drugs has been the subject of much debate, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
    If we are going to have a semblance of a national health system across 13 provinces and territories – without forgetting the large federal health system – it’s important to have equitable (not equal) access for all Canadians. Yet, the variations in coverage between jurisdictions have never been more pronounced.

  • Pharmacare: Focus on Canadians who need it most

    Ensuring that Canadians have access to prescription drugs should be a top priority… One single, nationally mandated pharmacare program would mean dissolving every existing provincially funded and employer-funded plan. It would likely mean one single, much smaller formulary (list of drugs), and would create opportunities for potential savings through bulk-buying. It would likely also create a large national bureaucracy and require a massive IT system … a national pharmacare plan may cover less than their existing plan.

  • Highlights of the Ontario budget

    - $822 million extra to hospitals, funding more cardiac and cancer surgeries, chemotherapy, MRIs and other services; – $575 million to make drugs completely free for seniors; – $800 million over two years for drug and dental coverage for people without insurance (up to $400 for singles, $600 for couples, $50 for each child); – $2.1 billion over four years for mental health care; – $2.2 billion over three years, providing some parents free child care; – $1 billion over three years for a seniors home-care benefit of $750 a year…

  • Doctors have no idea how much drugs cost — a Toronto physician wants to change that

    About 1.7 million Canadians didn’t fill prescriptions because they couldn’t afford them. As a result of that, 303,000 people reported seeing their family doctor, 93,000 ended up in emergency, and 26,000 were admitted to hospital… A Toronto MD is urging the province to mandate drug cost transparency by having prices pop up in the electronic medical record, so when doctors write prescriptions they can talk about affordability with patients.

  • Use of ‘catastrophic’ drug plan surges in Ontario, study says

    … in 2005, there were 20 drugs on the Canadian market that cost more than $10,000 annually; by 2015, that number had risen to 124. But drug costs are not the only factor… In Canada, drug insurance is provided principally by employers as part of benefits packages for employees, but an increasing number of people are self-employed or have precarious work… employers, facing increasing costs pressures, are also hiking deductibles and reducing the number of drugs covered

  • Wynne’s throne speech promises new spending on health care, home care and child care in Ontario

    In a speech from the throne Monday, Wynne outlined the Liberal government’s agenda leading up to the June 7 election, promising new spending on health care, home care, dental care, pharmacare and child care… the premier is promising to expand the new OHIP+ prescription drug program “to include other parts of the population.” … The premier added that there would be an expanded public dental program in next week’s fiscal blueprint.