Archive for the ‘Health Policy Context’ Category

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7 principles to guide a national dental care program in Canada

Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

There are myriad details here, but at minimum, there appears to be increasing policy, public and political consensus that access to dental care should be made consistent, reliable and equitable for all Canadians across all jurisdictions. As a result, like it is for health care, federal policy leadership is key… we offer these principles to move forward in a healthy way: in the service of Canadians who, for far too long, have been unable to meet their oral health-care needs because of a lack of access to care.

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Making it Right – Universal Basic Mental Healthcare for Ontario

Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

… Ontario should consider expanding its OHIP coverage to include universal basic mental healthcare in the form of a basic program assuring access of up to 12 psychotherapy sessions annually, which would remove barriers to access, among other benefits. Of the nearly 2 million Ontarians that stated a need for mental healthcare in 2018, 78.2% cited not knowing where to get help or not being able to afford to pay as a reason.

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Big Pharma wins in Liberals’ watered-down drug price regulations

Saturday, April 30th, 2022

A universal, single-payer, national pharmacare strategy remains elusive for Canadians, but the pharmaceutical industry continues to rake in profits while the government scales back regulatory changes on drug pricing… The Globe and Mail reported that the government is also cancelling plans from 2019 to force drug companies to disclose net prices and will instead continue to rely on publicly-listed prices. This, despite the government’s declaration that public prices do not reflect the true price tag.

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Health Canada lifts ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men

Thursday, April 28th, 2022

Health Canada on Thursday lifted the ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men, putting an end to a practice long criticized as discriminatory and homophobic… The new policy — which is expected to take effect by Sept. 30 — will screen all donors, regardless of gender or sexuality, for “high-risk sexual behaviours.”

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NUPGE report warns against privatization through virtual health care

Wednesday, January 26th, 2022

… the increase in ‘virtual’ health care during the pandemic is creating more private, for-profit delivery of health services…. “However, any for-profit virtual clinic that continues to bill users directly, or through private insurance plans, appears to be at odds with the preamble of the Canada Health Act, which calls for ‘continued access to quality health care without financial or other barriers.’”

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Lower drug prices are a priority for Canadians, but not for the federal government

Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

While the federal government has been bowing to the pharmaceutical industry, the amount that Canadians spend on medicines has continued to rise. In 2020, Canadians spent an estimated $32.7 billion, 4.3 per cent more than the previous year. Meanwhile, more than two-in-five Canadians are concerned about their ability to afford prescription drugs in 10 years. 

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Better health data means a healthier Canada

Friday, December 10th, 2021

Health care data collection and analysis can be complicated in Canada — we have 13 different health systems… Here’s what we need now: More comprehensive data… More timely data… More sharing… Give researchers access to health data so they can inform problem solving on important files like health equity; and work with First Nations, Inuit and Métis health organizations to ensure they have access to the data they need to meet their priorities.

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Canadians need accessible mental-health services, not a fight over who can claim responsibility for those programs

Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

For provinces that agree on almost nothing else, this remarkable unity when it comes to avoiding common standards in all future care programs erodes a sense of a nation. A feeling of inclusion comes from knowing that despite political differences among the provinces, people can count on specific standards of care wherever they are in the country.

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The PM must insist on conditions for health care funding to provinces

Wednesday, October 6th, 2021

Instead of rushing to hold negotiations this fall, as the premiers asked, Trudeau should put forward proposals of his own, starting with his long-promised pharmacare program, potentially bundled with any Canada Health Transfer increases. A single-payer public drug plan is supported by 86 per cent of Canadians according to the Angus Reid Institute, is backed by the NDP, and would save billions of dollars for employers, families, and especially the provinces.

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Canada needs a social contract for mental health

Wednesday, August 25th, 2021

… the Canada Emergency Response Benefit was arguably the most important mental-health innovation of the pandemic because it decreased financial uncertainty, demonstrating how important government can be in improving mental health. The Canadian Medical Association has calculated that 85 per cent of our risk of illness is linked to social factors such as housing, unemployment, poverty, systemic racism, and lack of access to social supports and health services. These are the types of stresses that are interacting with COVID-19 to drive our mental-health and substance-use crisis. 

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