Archive for the ‘Health Policy Context’ Category

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Myth Busting: Drug Spending, Prices and Pharmacare

Friday, December 6th, 2019

There are many individuals who lack sufficient coverage for prescription medications… But to address those gaps, it is important to understand the real challenges to achieving the goal: the fiscal pressure of high-cost treatments for relatively few beneficiaries and a lack of coverage for a minority of Canadians.

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A tricky operation: Finding a place for private health insurance in a public system

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019

Every health insurance program in the developed world, public and private, is struggling with a daunting triple challenge: An aging population, the soaring cost of new technologies and rising consumer expectations… private sector efficiency is a myth. Private hospitals keep patients longer, order more tests, prescribe more drugs and provide a lot of low-value or no-value care. They overtreat and overcharge… private hospitals are not going to solve the woes of Canadian medicare

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Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Requires a Made-in-the-USA Solution

Friday, November 22nd, 2019

“Canada represents only 2% of global pharmaceutical consumption vs. America’s 44%. In fact, the state of Florida alone spends more than all of Canada on prescription medicine… Canada imports between 68-70% of our final dosage form prescription drug supply and for the remaining 30% that we do manufacture domestically – over 90% of the components come from abroad.”

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Ontario’s healthcare spending lowest in Canada — but going lower

Thursday, November 21st, 2019

These cuts, totalling about $360 million, will affect everything from mental health care to cancer screening, according to Natalie Mehra, head of the Ontario Health Coalition… Their impact will likely be profound, since… Ontario’s health-care spending is only $3,903 per person — the lowest of the ten provinces — and $487 per person lower than the Canadian average…

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Hospital Beds and Long-Term Care Wait Lists

Friday, November 15th, 2019

Under current rules, hospitals may charge patients copayments for their room and board only if they require complex continuing care and are “more or less permanently resident” in hospital or waiting for an LTC bed. But they may not do so if the patient is awaiting discharge to home or community care. This creates a perverse incentive for hospitals to recommend LTC in order to get copayments, leading to longer waiting lists.

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How can we ration health care, without discrimination?

Wednesday, October 30th, 2019

Health-care providers cannot refuse care based on prejudices or stereotypes, but they can refuse or limit care if a medical condition could result in significant complications or costs. But exclusion criteria must be clear and based on evidence, and we can’t let bias creep in when making difficult rationing decisions… we have to debate these mind-bogglingly complex questions openly, not just punt them to the courts.

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A Federal Minority: The Leading Parties’ Promises on Health Care

Thursday, October 24th, 2019

With the Liberal Party of Canada… winning Monday’s federal election with 157 of 338 seats in the House of Commons, campaign promises will need broader support in order to be realized. This bulletin summarizes the positions of the top five parties… on health care topics including pharmacare… dental care), primary care, mental health and addiction services, Indigenous health care and medical assistance in dying.

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Election 2019: The home stretch for universal, public pharmacare

Thursday, September 26th, 2019

We shouldn’t just “fill in the gaps” by providing coverage for those who don’t currently have any, since that would simply add yet another layer to our inequitable system. It wouldn’t allow us to benefit from the reduced costs achieved through bulk purchasing and it wouldn’t limit the rising out-of-pocket expenses of those who currently have coverage. It would leave the majority of Canadians vulnerable to losing their coverage if their employment situation changes.

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Ontario Health Teams should expand reforms to doctors’ Pay

Thursday, September 5th, 2019

Extend the capitation principle so that primary-care providers also have a stake in the cost of drugs and secondary care their patients use – a healthcare system likely functions better when each patient has a “medical home,” with a provider who manages the overall care the patient receives.

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It’s time for Canada to embrace the legal regulation of drugs

Sunday, September 1st, 2019

Public health leaders in Canada realize that moving toward a legally regulated supply of drugs to replace the toxic and deadly criminally controlled supply, with all its negative impacts on public safety, is in the best interests of the public health and safety goals of Canadians.

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