Archive for the ‘Health Debates’ Category

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On safe injection sites, why can’t conservatives just let people not die?

Saturday, November 10th, 2018

Once conservatives get past the ideological hurdle of harm reduction, they ought to be impressed by its simplicity: Two volunteers in a tent with a bunch of naloxone kits and $200 in supplies from any pharmacy can provide the most basic service, which is ensuring that people do not die

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Bureaucracy should not stand in the way of a dignified death

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

… under Canada’s MAiD rules, to be eligible a patient must have a “grievous and irremediable medical condition,” their death must be “reasonably foreseeable,” they must be capable of informed consent, they must have the approval of two independent physicians (or nurse-practitioners), make the request in writing in the presence of two witnesses, have an unofficial cooling-off period to be sure their decision is final and then give “late-stage consent” just prior to the injection of the drug cocktail that will hasten death.

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Why the good doctor is burning out

Saturday, October 20th, 2018

When in conflict, in almost every instance, the interests of the young today will be sacrificed for those of the old. Power will be accrued and not released, while debt will be accrued but not paid… Maybe young physicians despair for exactly the same reason that young people generally report unprecedented levels of anxiety and depression: the people who are supposed to be nurturing them.

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The truth behind wait times and private health care

Friday, October 5th, 2018

We have emergent issues to address in our health care system, but most come from its two-tiered part, not its universal part. Thirty per cent of our system is private… Our health outcomes are impaired by the lack of non-physician public health care: lack of dental care that drives people to the ED for tooth pain, lack of physiotherapy that results in a reliance on opiates for back pain rather than desperately needed manual therapy, and a lack of pharmacare that ends in 1-in-10 Canadians being unable to fill their prescriptions.

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Higher minimum wage a boost for health

Thursday, October 4th, 2018

Nearly two million people living in poverty in Ontario will suffer if the Doug Ford government follows through with plans to slam the brakes on raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour in January. A higher minimum wage enables more Ontarians to maintain their health rather than fall prey to illnesses such as malnutrition, diabetes and heart disease, which impose far greater costs in the long run.

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Decriminalization is one powerful force to ease the overdose crisis

Wednesday, September 12th, 2018

When possession of drugs is a crime, it creates giant barriers to harm reduction and treatment. First and foremost, it means drugs will be supplied by criminals, and the supply will be unregulated, potentially unsafe and over-priced. This, in turn, means more overdoses, more deaths and more hospitalizations.

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Ontario can’t afford to fumble on the opioid crisis

Wednesday, September 12th, 2018

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott would have to be wilfully deaf not to hear the loud and clear message from health care experts… [that] these facilities save lives… if the “community members” Elliott is consulting with are concerned about the supposed “chaos” around drug injection sites that some have complained about, they should consider the alternative. That is people dying of overdoses on the streets outside their homes.

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Ontario should lift health-care wait period for new permanent residents

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

It’s estimated that as many as 500,000 people in Ontario are without OHIP coverage due to their immigration status… the 80,000 new permanent residents who arrive in Ontario annually — mostly economic and sponsored family immigrants — are a relatively small, committed and rigorously tested group of newcomers who tend to be in good health. Why make them wait? … [It] little sense since we all pay the higher cost of addressing untreated illness once the three-month waiting period is over.

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Our Biggest Health Factor Is Largely Ignored

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

… for most people, for most diseases, knowledge isn’t enough… There are much larger forces underlying the choices individuals make that have a much larger effect on how healthy we are as a people. Often described as the “social determinants of health,” these forces play out across populations, providing an answer to the question of why some people appear to make worse choices than others, and pointing towards why some people are healthier than others.

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Canada must seize the moment to get pharmacare right

Saturday, September 1st, 2018

… the new provincial government has announced the cancellation of OHIP+, which provided prescription drug coverage for seniors and people under 25. This announcement turns back efforts to provide greater access to prescription drugs for Ontarians. Without a national pharmacare program, Ontarians will see greater costs and fewer benefits… Failure to take medication as prescribed can greatly reduce health outcomes and put lives at risk. It also adds strain and cost to a health-care system that is already overburdened.

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