Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

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Let’s make 2019 the year Canada finally gets pharmacare (2)

Saturday, January 12th, 2019

Canada’s dysfunctional non-system of non-universal drug insurance goes into the ring with one big advantage: It’s the status quo. It exists, through hundreds of government programs and thousands of workplace arrangements and collective agreements. Canadians will have to be persuaded that reform will improve their existing coverage, or at least leave it unchanged.

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Fate of Ontario Drug Benefit could define federal election

Friday, January 11th, 2019

Premier Doug Ford is… likely to gut the Ontario Drug Benefit seniors’ program. How the federal Liberals and NDP respond to this challenge will define their parties’ visions for the country and determine the election results… Ford inherited a $6-plus billion deficit and he’s blown that up with tax reductions and lost law suits… Cutting the ODB seniors’ program and implementing a Quebec or Manitoba-style plan could save $2 billion in one fell swoop.

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The secret moves to increase private health care

Thursday, January 10th, 2019

Secretly… a major multi-faceted campaign is underway inside and outside the premier’s office to develop a two-tier system of health care in Ontario, complete with specialized private clinics and the ability of some doctors to charge more than standard rates for medical procedures they perform outside of a public hospital or health centre… Insurance firms are excited about the possibility of increased private health care. They see huge profits in offering corporations private insurance programs for employees who visit private clinics…

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What many Canadians don’t know about the Canada Health Act

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

Public funding is still focused on hospital-based approaches to treating disabilities and chronic conditions, instead of home-care methods, which are much more cost-effective… Prescription drugs provided outside hospital settings are also not covered by the Canada Health Act and require out-of-pocket spending. In 2017, approximately 700,000 Canadians had no prescription drug coverage, while an estimated 3.6 million had inadequate coverage to afford necessary medications.

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Let’s make 2019 the year Canada finally gets pharmacare

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

If you’re hospitalized and you’re given prescription meds, it’s free. But once you walk out of the hospital with a prescription to fill, you may be on your own. Coverage is a mix of private insurance and out-of-pocket spending, with the provinces and territories filling some of the gaps with a grab bag of local programs, each unique to its jurisdiction, for groups such as seniors and the poor… Government programs are limited and selective, creating a safety net that’s filled with holes.

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It is time to implement a universal dental plan

Monday, January 7th, 2019

A universal dental plan would require more government spending, but it would eliminate the out-of-pocket spending and monthly payments to the private health insurance companies for basic dental care. Targeted programs are more susceptible to cuts in funding since there are less likely to be repercussions in the form of public outrage as the cuts would only affect a relatively small, marginalized group.

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Free prescriptions for many children and young adults in Ontario set to end in March

Saturday, January 5th, 2019

Under the new plan, children and young adults will continue to get free prescriptions if they or their parents do not have private health insurance coverage. Otherwise, private insurance plans become the “first payer” for prescription medicines… At issue is how pharmacists will be able to verify whether customers under 25 have private coverage, or deductibles or co-payments… At drug stores, pharmacists will ask customers if they have insurance and check their coverage online.

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Doctors should follow patients beyond the hospital

Saturday, January 5th, 2019

As trainees, we learn to manage patients on medical wards and in office clinics. We become proficient at recognizing their maladies and manipulating their biology: our exams and training prepare us well for this. But we are less prepared to understand how community services — arguably the crucible of modern health care — will pick up where we have left off… Yet, most physicians get little to no exposure to rehabilitation institutions, long-term care facilities and nursing homes.

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In medicine, ‘social prescribing’ is catching on despite lack of evidence

Saturday, December 22nd, 2018

In Ontario, the Alliance for Healthier Communities, a network of community health centres, recently launched a program to similarly measure the use and efficacy of the social prescribing strategy. “People can be their own best resource for their health and wellbeing, when they’re connected to each other and the right services… Social prescribing changes our lens from seeing individuals as patients with conditions, to understanding them as people with gifts.”

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How we can beat HIV in Canada

Saturday, December 1st, 2018

… In total, more than 23,000 Canadians are falling through the cracks in our response to HIV… There is a critical shortage of testing options available in Canada to reach those who are undiagnosed. There is uneven coverage and access to anti-retroviral medications for prevention and treatment of HIV. Finally, unlike other countries, Canada lacks political commitment to implement the necessary scale-up and access to testing and medications.

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