How Canada can fix primary care crisis

Posted on May 23, 2024 in Health Delivery System

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In every neighbourhood in the country, just as there are schools for our children, there should be a primary-care home — or centre — served by a team of doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, dieticians, therapists, social workers, and others. Each person has an ongoing relationship with a primary-care clinician in this publicly funded team. The team is connected to other parts of the health system and social services. It’s a one-stop shop for your health related needs.

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Child & Family

Seniors’ Care Surge will require Smart Policies

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Among the key recommendations: (i) provinces should invest in public home and community care while also considering mechanisms to expand the private provision of these services; (ii) Ontario and other provinces should consider providing a refundable tax credit for senior renters to access retirement homes and supportive services and; (iii) current capacity and fiscal constraints mean that expanding both publicly and privately funded options will be necessary. 


Justin Trudeau announces national school food program amid rising grocery prices

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Canada is the only G7 nation without a national school food program, and ranks 37th out of 41 of the world’s wealthiest countries when it comes to providing healthy food for children… one of the reasons for that was the lack of a national school food program… “We’ll finally be able to level the playing field”… the government plans to work with provinces, territories and Indigenous groups to expand existing programs, some of which are funded by under-resourced organizations.


Education

Province urged to take time to rethink flawed post-secondary education bill

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Bill 166 is being touted as a potential law to improve transparency and student mental health, and to combat racism and hate on the province’s post-secondary campuses… The provincial government is using a manufactured crisis as an excuse for increased ill-informed ministerial interference… What we do need is a real solution to the real crisis created by government through more than a decade of funding cuts and squeezes.


Ontario has lost 5,000 classroom educators since 2018

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In 2024-2025, Ontario will have 4,990 fewer classroom educators than it would have had if the funding formula hadn’t changed since 2018-19. Under the new formula, kindergarten will have to make do with 1,600 fewer staff. Grades 4 to 8 will have almost 1,000 fewer staff. Grades 9 to 12 will lose almost 2,600 positions… Depriving Ontario’s children of educators is the worst thing this government can do for the future of this province.


Employment

Mark Carney had a chance to weigh in one of the defining issues facing Canada. The answer he gave suggests he isn’t ready for public life

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Around the world, almost no serious person continues to believe that cutting taxes on the wealthy will unlock growth for working and middle-income people. Most advanced industrial democracies are dealing with inequality and challenges to economic growth by rejecting market fundamentalism and investing in things like public transit, child care, affordable housing and ensuring that low- and middle-income people have money to spend in the local economy.


Economic growth tops the priority list for Canadian policymakers — here’s why

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We should be making room for measures of personal and collective well-being other than GDP. But we also need economic growth — not just so we can consume more, or generate more revenue for governments, but so we can take better care of one another… growth could include better housing, better food and better health care, or even a better defence posture. And it need not require consuming more natural resources. 


Equality

Canada’s shift to a more regressive tax system, 2004 to 2022

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Taxation of the wealthiest is a central means to reduce inequality, provide adequate shared public infrastructure and services that benefit all, and create opportunities for all to live a decent life… Despite the progressive personal income tax system, when we look at all taxes and income, the tax system is only moderately progressive at the bottom, flat through the middle and regressive at the top.


Wealthy Canadians get huge tax breaks, even with budget changes to capital gains

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The tax system is much tougher on working people, who make up the vast majority of Canadians, including almost everyone in the lower and middle class. Working people pay taxes on their full working incomes, with few exemptions, and their taxes are deducted before they even receive their paycheques. Then there are those who own capital — stocks, bonds and other property… “A buck is a buck is a buck.” The budget’s tax changes are a small but important step in that direction.


Health

The Doctor Dilemma: Improving Primary Care Access in Canada

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Addressing the primary care access gap involves five strategies… : 1) expanding the number of training positions and filling the unfilled residency spots with international medical graduates; 2) reducing the administrative burden for family physicians; 3) providing alternate payment models; 4) expanding the scope of practice of other primary care providers; and 5) expanding team-based models of care.


How Canada can fix primary care crisis

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In every neighbourhood in the country, just as there are schools for our children, there should be a primary-care home — or centre — served by a team of doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, dieticians, therapists, social workers, and others. Each person has an ongoing relationship with a primary-care clinician in this publicly funded team. The team is connected to other parts of the health system and social services. It’s a one-stop shop for your health related needs.


Inclusion

Here’s how Ontarians on ODSP are trying to make ends meet

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… the low social-assistance rates in Ontario… are forcing recipients to earn money however they can. Living in what disability activists frequently refer to as “legislated poverty,” these recipients often drain their savings, borrow money from friends and family, or even consider taking their own lives… Programs like the recently unveiled Canada Disability Benefit, or even the Ontario government’s decision to index ODSP to inflation, not only don’t keep pace with the past few years of inflation — they barely address decades of stagnant earnings.


Debunking myths about community housing: What governments and the public should know

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Canada’s Housing Plan… includes noteworthy new funding programs and policies to preserve and expand community housing, including social, non-profit and co-operative housing… Canada’s ongoing housing crisis extends beyond affordability and supply challenges. It also involves homelessness, risks to tenancy, shortage of accessible units, financialization and the lack of culturally adequate housing. Community housing is poised to effectively tackle these insidious problems in ways the market cannot.


Social Security

Basic Income for a New Model of Canadian Social Democracy

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Basic income is a paradigm-shifting idea on how to ensure economic security for everyone… Now is the time for the democratic left in Canada to develop a workable and comprehensive version of basic income as a key policy instrument, and not a sideline consideration. Canadian social democrats should incorporate the principle of guaranteed, unconditional and universal economic security as a fundamental program for its vision a better society.


Warning signs: Poverty in 2022

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Pandemic-related modifications to EI, the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, all ended during 2022… Recent investments, such as the Canada Disability Benefit, may help when the money finally gets to those in need some time in 2025, but the size and reach of the benefit is too low to have a significant impact on poverty rates.   


Governance

Doug Ford has bungled affordable housing and now Ottawa is rubbing his nose in it

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The federal government now says it will send funding directly to municipalities, cutting Ontario out of the equation entirely… Why can the two levels of government come together to build subsidized factories, but not subsidized housing? … Ultimately, the friction over funding may have less to do with personalities than priorities. In Ford’s Ontario, unaffordable factories count for more than affordable housing.


We are rich Canadians and we support higher capital gains taxes

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Ottawa wants to raise taxes for Canada’s ultra-rich. Rich people like us want that, too… with 1 per cent of the country’s residents holding over a quarter of all wealth. We need higher taxes to level out this rising wealth inequality… to fund new spending on priorities like Old Age Security, clean economy, medical care, child care, and housing, but it doesn’t go far enough to address class distortions… we’d also like to see a “super wealth tax,” an inheritance tax, and progressive property taxes