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Province needs to find millions in health-care savings

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

October 6, 2010
The head of the Ontario Hospital Association… [Tom Closson] said because Ontario is facing continued “economic distress,” tough, even politically unpopular, decisions must be made when it comes to health-care funding, which now totals $46 billion annually and eats up more than 40 per cent of all provincial program spending. “What we need now is courage, courage to both create a game plan and courage to act,”… “I believe that the quality of care can be improved even though we are in a lasting era of belt-tightening,” he said.

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Ontario scientists launch “largest health study in the world”

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

September 29, 2010
Provincial researchers have launched what is expected to become the largest health study on chronic diseases in the world and are hoping up to three million Ontarians will voluntarily participate. The Ontario Health Study will follow adults through the rest of their lives and produce findings that will help researchers understand the complex web of factors that increase the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, asthma, Alzheimer’s and other common diseases.

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Province considers overhauling wound-care treatment

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

August 9, 2010
… budget pressures and the exploding diabetes epidemic are forcing Ontario health-care providers to rethink the way these services are provided… patients… could be better served at a lower price, by coordinating services and paying for products that cost more upfront but help speed healing… At the same time, the quality of care could be vastly improved… Dr. Brian Golden, chair of Rotman’s health sector strategy, says the traditional way of offering this kind of home care has served neither patients nor taxpayers well.

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The Brain: Changing the adult mind through the power of plasticity

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

July 30, 2010
In recent years, experts have learned that the adult brain can actually rewire itself — changing its physical structure and function through experience, thought and behavior. It’s a property known as neuroplasticity… While we have always known the structure of our brain drives our behavior, plasticity shows the opposite is also true. The architecture of our brains is constantly changing in response to the lives we lead… New neural networks can be developed, regions of the brain can grow and change function, taking on the tasks of damaged areas.

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Waits triple for long-term care, watchdog says

Friday, June 4th, 2010

June 3, 2010
Ontario seniors are waiting three times longer than they did five years ago to get into long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, warns a report by a health-care watchdog group made public Thursday. Waits are also too long for urgent cancer surgeries and treatment in emergency departments, according to an annual report from the Ontario Health Quality Council, an arms-length agency funded by the province. The average wait for a long-term care bed today is 105 days.

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Drug spending slowing: report

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Apr 22 2010
Despite the decrease, Ontario ranks just slightly above the national average in the proportion of total health spending devoted to drugs. In 2009, 16.5 per cent of health spending in Ontario went to drugs, compared with the national average of 16.4 per cent… Spending on drugs is the second-largest piece of the health-care pie, after hospital spending.

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Change doctors’ pay to cut health costs, reports says

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

April 14, 2010
The report calls on the province to amend the Public Hospitals Act and do away with hospital privileges for doctors, instead putting them on contracts that set out performance goals. Doctors would be reimbursed, for example, for seeing a specified number of patients in a certain time frame. Their pay would also be linked to patient outcomes.

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