Archive for the ‘Health Debates’ Category

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We need to take Canada’s approach to drug addiction and burn it to the ground

Friday, June 19th, 2020

… as policies go, prohibition and jail time have been utter failures as deterrents. Mr. Perrin, the author of Overdose: Heartbreak and Hope in Canada’s Opioid Crisis, released this year, says politics – fear of a backlash from the electorate – have made our leaders afraid to do the right thing… this has allowed “an unregulated criminal underworld to dictate what is in the drugs that people are taking, forcing those people to play Russian roulette”

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No more studies are needed to fix long-term care. We already know the answers

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020

… salaries of all staff in long-term-care facilities should be reviewed. It is imperative that staff particularly personal support workers, health aides, cleaners and food preparation staff be paid adequately. They must not be forced to work in more than one facility in order to earn a decent wage. They are providing care to our vulnerable Canadians. They have a right to expect that we show that we value the work they do by ensuring a good wage.

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Break the cycle of neglect and panic in public health

Saturday, April 25th, 2020

As far back as 2006, in the wake of SARS, Ottawa set out a pandemic preparedness plan that should have made this country as ready as any for a threat like COVID-19… Ottawa, it turns out, has been cutting funding for management of its stocks of personal protective equipment like medical masks and gowns, known as the National Emergency Strategic Stockpile… But at a time when pandemics seemed like distant threats, no one cared much about stocks of PPE gathering dust in warehouses.

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The COVID-19 pandemic shines a light on our failing: We need paid, respected community health workers

Tuesday, April 21st, 2020

The virus has exposed the need for a public-health system that more strongly integrates community-level responsiveness with the needs of vulnerable populations as part of its daily practice, as well as in times of crisis… we have no excuse not to invest in the human capital and community supports that would allow core public-health activities to be fully effective year-round.

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Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism

Friday, March 27th, 2020

Deaths of Despair sheds important light on how the loss of manufacturing jobs and the rise of graduates have been two sides of the same coin in a US that has deindustrialised at breakneck speed in some regions, while shifting at a similar pace to a tech-focused “knowledge economy” in others. The economic, social and political consequences have been momentous… What Case and Deaton’s book vividly demonstrates is that, in the context of a malfunctioning form of capitalism, the myth of educational “meritocracy” can seriously damage people’s health.

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A rescue package includes expanding medicare

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

… as we are seeing an unprecedented collective effort to protect Canadians in the acute phase of this crisis, we also have an opportunity to ensure that every person living in Canada has access to the essential medications and dental care they need, regardless of employment status, to protect them against ongoing and future instability… On dental care, Canada has one of the least accessible systems in the developed world. Only 5 per cent of all spending on dental care is publicly funded

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When does social distancing end? These graphs show where we’re heading and why

Monday, March 23rd, 2020

… how and when to emerge from the current state of isolation[?] It’s a decision that means weighing the serious health risk that the new coronavirus poses against the crushing impact of prolonged social distancing on the economy, jobs, education and public life. It will also depend crucially on how long individuals are willing to maintain social-distancing practices.

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A tale of two public health crises — science is being used to stem coronavirus but not opioid deaths

Saturday, March 14th, 2020

The scientific evidence derived from the evaluation of these facilities is both comprehensive and clear: they save lives. Yet despite the mountains of evidence that’s been compiled about their effectiveness, this health intervention continues to be controversial for those who don’t know, or willingly choose to ignore, the science. Not a single death has been reported in a supervised consumption site.

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Shut it down: It’s time for Canada to get serious about social distancing

Thursday, March 12th, 2020

Canada needs to embrace social distancing… early implementation [of six social-distancing measures during past flu pandemics] delayed the peak in the number of infections, relieving the burden on health-care systems by spreading out the cases over a longer period of time… we can’t afford to become Italy, a country that was slow to act and is now paying a massive price, with more than 10,000 cases, 600 deaths and a collapsing economy.

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On mental health, words come easily. Action less so

Sunday, March 8th, 2020

It’s been almost exactly 10 years… since a select committee report on mental health titled “Navigating the Journey to Wellness: The Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Plan for Ontarians” was issued… Chief among the committee’s eventual recommendations… was creation of Mental Health and Addictions Ontario, an umbrella organization to ensure that a single body was responsible for designing, managing and co-ordinating the system, as well as a “core basket of services in all regions” and “access to a system of navigators.”

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