Overcrowding and overwork compromise health care

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

12 August 2012
Nurses know changes are needed. Hospitals across the country are at overcapacity. A generally accepted standard of safe hospital occupancy is 85 per cent yet most hospitals are working at a 100 per cent or higher. The results of overcrowding include compromised care, high rates of hospital acquired infections and unnecessary rates of hospital readmission. Another result is dangerous levels of workload, and the resulting vicious circle of working short.

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Canada needs a new Health Accord to liberate health-care talent

Friday, August 10th, 2012

30 July 2012
The era of the omniscient independent practitioner is over… The practical question is whether the provinces will be able to clear the scope of practice gridlock entirely on their own, through multilateral consensus… If the public interest is to be served, there must be an honest broker to support and at times discipline the development of options, identify barriers to constructive change, invest in and sustain effort, and nudge the parties into a progressive consensus. That honest broker can only be the federal government…

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Rich-poor gap is making Canadians sick

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

July 15, 2012
The top determinants of health in order are income status, education, social support networks, employment and working conditions, early childhood development, physical environment, personal health practices and coping skills and biological and genetic factors. Access to health care is ninth as a determinant of health… By tackling each of the social determinants of health with intelligent public policy informed by evidence-based best practices, our governments will knock down Canada’s unconscionable poverty rates…

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Why medicare needs Ottawa

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Jan. 16, 2012
Writing cheques and walking away from the duty to improve medicare is not only a retrograde step that endangers health care and the economy, it also reveals a vision of an increasingly shrivelled and parochial federation, where governments look inward and the whole becomes a pastiche of increasingly isolated parts. Here are seven reasons why a strong federal presence in health care is vital to Canada:

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Shrinking Medicare, Expanding Poverty

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

April 21, 2011
In 1975, spending on hospitals and doctors – the core medicare services – accounted for 60% of total health spending. In 2010 the figure was 41%. Governments fund only half of all other types of care and have deinsured medically necessary services such as optometric visits. But the biggest and growing gap in the system is in the care of seniors: prescription drugs, home care, and long-term residential care, known as LTC… the system is stingy with inexpensive home care and more generous in providing expensive institutional care. It’s a classic lose-lose: worse for the person, and more costly for the public.

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