Archive for the ‘Health Debates’ Category

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We can’t afford to skimp on mental health services

Tuesday, January 28th, 2020

The stagnant model of care we continue to rely on didn’t even work 10 years ago, when far fewer people perceived mental health problems as legitimate and treatable… As the Hon. Michael Wilson, the late chair of the MHCC, once said: funding for mental health must include the “latitude for proving the sound economics of creative approaches.”

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Children and teens might hide their mental-health struggles. But adults can’t look away

Saturday, January 25th, 2020

… bullying; verbal, physical and sexual abuse; poverty; family violence; parental illness; and more recently, excessive exposure to social media, can all contribute to poorer mental-health outcomes in children. Despite… the progress we’ve made as a society to destigmatize mental illness, many children and teens continue to hide their distress from their families and peers because they feel either ashamed or that they can sort it out themselves.

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Fear and division really are bad for our health

Monday, January 20th, 2020

If you take fear and division and add a dose of cynicism about experts and government you produce an excellent culture medium for anxiety. Anxiety is bad for our health. A smoker loses on average 8.5 years of life. Anxiety can decrease your life expectancy by 7… When things seem more predictable, we feel more in control and we are less anxious.

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Assessing Ottawa’s New Health Mandate

Friday, January 10th, 2020

… why not identify and put your emphasis on issues squarely in the federal jurisdiction, such as the socio-economic determinants of health? Addressing poverty and other deleterious conditions in certain populations would be the greatest contribution your government could make to better health of Canadians.

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Resolution on social housing benefit provides hope for many in 2020

Wednesday, January 1st, 2020

There are few things more important to health than a roof over one’s head. Life expectancy for a homeless person is substantially worse than for the general population and 57 per cent of homeless people in Toronto have a chronic medical condition… living in ill-maintained housing increases the risk of accidents due to unsafe structures, infestations such as mice, cockroaches, and a variety of infections…

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Just what the doctor ordered: How AI will change medicine in the 2020s

Saturday, December 28th, 2019

Perhaps the principal short-term impact for deep learning and AI tools would be to liberate doctors and patients from keyboards, their common enemy that markedly detracts from real human interaction… with smartwatch algorithms… common, non-serious conditions that can be diagnosed by patients with algorithms will grow, cultivating more autonomy for willing patients and, as a result, less requirement for doctor visits.

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My brain tumour has returned, my drug plan has not

Tuesday, December 17th, 2019

… in its current form, our country will remove a tumour and leave the medication on the back of the patient (to say nothing of teeth, vision care and mental health, which are curiously not covered by our “universal” system)… To those of us directly affected, it’s a crisis and daily failure of a country that prides itself on socialized medicine to step up and protect us. We don’t need this in 2027 — we have prescriptions that aren’t being filled now.

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Ontario’s mental-health crisis, Part 3: Solving the problem will mean more beds — and more political will

Friday, December 13th, 2019

… on any given day, there are approximately 2,300 patients who are awaiting transfer to a more appropriate bed… Of these 2,300 patients, 9 per cent, or approximately 200 people, are awaiting transfer to a more appropriate care setting for a mental-health issue… The provincial government has pledged to do more for mental health and to expand the long-term-care system generally. But that will take years and sustained political will.

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Is a national pharmacare program any closer to reality?

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

it’s delusional to think the Liberals will act anything other than slowly. While the purported savings are compelling, shifting spending from private drug plans to the public treasury is much less so. Not to mention that the provinces are, at best, lukewarm about the idea… The premiers want the escalator to increase to 5.2 per cent before they even consider pharmacare.

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Equitable pharmacare deal requires Trudeau to strike deal with wary premiers

Wednesday, December 4th, 2019

Every province operates some form of public drug plan for seniors and the poor. All premiers would be pleased to have Ottawa take on part of that financial burden. But they don’t want to be hosed again, as many feel they were with medicare… That’s why the premiers insist that any national pharmacare scheme must have “adequate and sustained” federal funding.

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