Archive for the ‘Health Policy Context’ Category

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The Fallacy of Federal Advantage in Delivering Pharmacare

Friday, May 17th, 2019

… the 2019 federal budget proposed the creation of a new Canadian Drug Agency to conduct health technology assessments, negotiate prices and listing terms… That is, the new agency could substantially lower the national drug budget even if the federal and provincial/territorial governments are not able to agree on a single-payer government plan… Prescription drugs are an increasingly large component of total healthcare costs, and should be integrated with other areas of health spending and policies to control it.

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Ontario’s top court rules religious doctors must offer patients an ‘effective referral’ for assisted dying, abortion

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

The Court of Appeal for Ontario is now the highest court in the country to have ruled on the thorny question of how the conscience rights of doctors should be balanced against the rights of patients to access publicly funded health services – a question that became more pressing after the legalization of assisted dying three years ago.

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Cutting out-of-country OHIP coverage is wrong and pointless

Thursday, April 25th, 2019

… the government paid out just $9 million last year for emergency coverage… a tiny fraction of one percentage point, of overall Ontario medical spending of $63.5 billion (with a b)… The government’s argument is that the existing program covers only a fraction of medical costs abroad. On that it’s correct… And it’s a gift to private insurers who no doubt will see a spike in business if all out-of-country coverage is yanked away.

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Doug Ford’s OHIP move strikes at the heart of medicare

Thursday, April 25th, 2019

In the case of those who are “temporarily absent” from the country, the Canada Health Act reads as follows: “Where the insured services are provided out of Canada, payment is made on the basis of the amount that would have been paid by the province for similar services rendered in the province.” … By attacking the key principle of portability — the notion that Canadian residents take their health insurance with them wherever they go — it is aiming a dagger at medicare’s throat.

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Designation Process for Ontario Health Teams

Friday, April 19th, 2019

… a new model to integrate care and funding that will enable patients, families, communities and providers to better work together… will be referred to below) as “Ontario Health Teams”… The purpose of this bulletin is to provide an overview of the application process for Ontario Health Teams… Significant dates in respect of the process for designation as an Ontario Health Team are included…

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Big drug companies might cut R&D, delay new drugs if pharmacare means more generics, Ottawa warned

Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

… brand-name pharmaceutical companies may respond to a broad shift to generic drugs by delaying the introduction of new drugs in the Canadian market or by reducing the R&D activities that they undertake in the country,” said the analysis, labelled “secret,” … The proposal calls for an expanded list of countries Canada can use when comparing patented drug prices… to take into consideration when assessing whether a drug is overpriced.

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Ontario should get tougher on raising vaccination rates

Friday, April 5th, 2019

The numbers gathered by the Star from public health units around the province show vaccination rates vary considerably, but are too low to provide so-called “herd immunity” for the general population… The province should move toward eliminating non-medical exemptions for the vaccinations that children must have in order to attend school… Better to act now than to put health and lives at risk.

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To end hallway medicine, we should consider a public-private model

Monday, April 1st, 2019

In a pluralistic model with public-private competition, providers and insurance plans have more freedom to experiment, because patients or doctors who don’t like what is being tried have alternatives. The result may well be more innovation and, in the long run, a more efficient system.

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Bill 74: Integration and Accountability in Ontario’s Health System under the Connecting Care Act, 2019

Friday, March 22nd, 2019

… the proposed Connecting Care Act, 2019 (the “Act”), if enacted, will: permit the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care (the “Minister”) to create new integrated care delivery systems (“ICDS”); … integrate health service providers (“HSPs”) and ICDS; and create accountability mechanisms to monitor and manage ICDS and HSPs and other persons and entities that receive government funding.

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After Bill Morneau’s budget, Liberals should move on pharmacare

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

The absence of comprehensive prescription drug coverage is the most glaring hole in our much-vaunted medicare system… Setting up a true national pharmacare program will be expensive and difficult, involving major push-back from the insurance industry and complex negotiations with the provinces. But the Liberals should not shy away from the challenge… they came into office promising to make real changes in the lives of ordinary people

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