Archive for the ‘Health Policy Context’ Category

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The new Canada’s Food Guide explained: Goodbye four food groups and serving sizes, hello hydration

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

The new guide is distilled into one strikingly simple image: a plate of food filled with roughly half fruits and vegetables, and the remaining half divided into whole grains and proteins. The image is meant to convey a simple message, according to Health Canada: Eat a diet made up of roughly half fruits and vegetables, and half of the remaining two categories… the new version also includes specific warnings about what not to eat – namely, processed and prepared foods that are high in sodium, free sugars and saturated fats.

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Let’s make 2019 the year Canada finally gets pharmacare (2)

Saturday, January 12th, 2019

Canada’s dysfunctional non-system of non-universal drug insurance goes into the ring with one big advantage: It’s the status quo. It exists, through hundreds of government programs and thousands of workplace arrangements and collective agreements. Canadians will have to be persuaded that reform will improve their existing coverage, or at least leave it unchanged.

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Fate of Ontario Drug Benefit could define federal election

Friday, January 11th, 2019

Premier Doug Ford is… likely to gut the Ontario Drug Benefit seniors’ program. How the federal Liberals and NDP respond to this challenge will define their parties’ visions for the country and determine the election results… Ford inherited a $6-plus billion deficit and he’s blown that up with tax reductions and lost law suits… Cutting the ODB seniors’ program and implementing a Quebec or Manitoba-style plan could save $2 billion in one fell swoop.

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What many Canadians don’t know about the Canada Health Act

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

Public funding is still focused on hospital-based approaches to treating disabilities and chronic conditions, instead of home-care methods, which are much more cost-effective… Prescription drugs provided outside hospital settings are also not covered by the Canada Health Act and require out-of-pocket spending. In 2017, approximately 700,000 Canadians had no prescription drug coverage, while an estimated 3.6 million had inadequate coverage to afford necessary medications.

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Free prescriptions for many children and young adults in Ontario set to end in March

Saturday, January 5th, 2019

Under the new plan, children and young adults will continue to get free prescriptions if they or their parents do not have private health insurance coverage. Otherwise, private insurance plans become the “first payer” for prescription medicines… At issue is how pharmacists will be able to verify whether customers under 25 have private coverage, or deductibles or co-payments… At drug stores, pharmacists will ask customers if they have insurance and check their coverage online.

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Ontario should stop stalling on making payments to doctors public

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

… it is so alarming that months after taking office the Ford government has yet to enact regulations that would bring into force the Health Sector Transparency Act passed by the previous Liberal government. It should quit stalling. The legislation would compel drug companies and those that manufacture medical devices to publicly report cash payments, free dinners, trips and other benefits they dole out to doctors, dentists and pharmacists.

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How do we balance rights in cases of medically assisted dying?

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

Catholic health-care facilities must recognize the vulnerabilities and full health-care needs of its diverse patient population. That means providing complete, compassionate and dignified end-of-life care, including MAID, especially when dealing with patients grappling with intolerable circumstances and imminent mortality.

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Minimum wage of $14 per hour bad for public health

Sunday, October 28th, 2018

Poverty is one of the best predictors of health. People making minimum wage earn less than $20,000 for a 40-hour week, and hover near the poverty line. They will live up to five fewer years than people who have higher wages, they will use more health and social services and their children will do less well at school and be at increased risk of illness themselves… Poverty and low wages decrease your life expectancy and increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, respiratory diseases, diabetes, accidents, and mental health and addiction problems

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Pharmacare is not a top health-care priority for Canadians, poll finds

Friday, October 19th, 2018

The Pollara survey was funded by the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada, a group that represents 6,500 pharmacies across the country… A study published this year in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that almost 1 million Canadians cut back on food and heat spending to afford their medication, while nearly 2 million people have reported not being able to afford at least one of their prescribed drugs in the past year.

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Study shows how national pharmacare plan could work

Monday, September 17th, 2018

The authors are scathingly critical of those… who would use pharmacare to merely “fill in the gaps” left by existing private and public plans. Such an approach, they write, is merely a euphemism for off-loading the drug costs of expensive, high-risk patients onto the public system while leaving private insurers free to focus on those who are relatively healthy and thus more profitable… to be at all useful, a national pharmacare system must be universal…

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