Archive for the ‘Health Policy Context’ Category

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Lasting programs needed to cure our social wounds

Thursday, July 9th, 2020

COVID-19 is laying bare the consequences of four decades of neoliberal social policy choices… The poverty, homelessness and precarious work we tolerate and try to bury under inadequate social supports. The entrenched historical structural inequities like racism and sexism we sweep under the carpet but are the driving determinants of who is most negatively impacted by COVID-19 and most other illnesses.

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Let’s face it, Canada: Even drinking in moderation can be dangerous

Tuesday, June 16th, 2020

Alcohol is a health disaster in Canada… In 2017, alcohol put as many people in hospital as heart attacks did, and 13 times as many people as opioids did. And we haven’t even touched on social ills such as drunk driving, domestic violence and absenteeism in the workplace… At the same time, Canadians are getting mixed signals on booze: from health experts, from their governments and from society.

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Why for-profit nursing home operators will likely leave the sector of their own accord

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

Reinventing LTC means a restoration of the minimum staffing levels scrapped by the Mike Harris government in the 1990s. It means replacing or retrofitting nursing homes according to 21st century design standards. It means “in-sourcing” housekeeping, cooking and other services that have been outsourced to part-time and casual workers and contractors, the use of which impairs teamwork and continuity of care… What’s required is a multibillion-dollar megaproject.

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It’s time to expand Canadian medicare, and make it truly universal

Saturday, June 6th, 2020

Canadians have cradle-to-grave insurance for services from a doctor or hospital. But dentistry? Drugs? No. Denticare and pharmacare aren’t part of medicare… Getting to truly universal health insurance, covering all required health services, doesn’t necessarily mean doing it on medicare’s government-runs-it-all model. A number of countries with more extensive and successful health systems rely on a regulated private sector to ensure that everyone is covered.

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Canada’s soldiers have provided a wake-up call for our long-term care system

Thursday, May 28th, 2020

Our inaction, founded in deep societal ageism and persistent under-funding, cumulatively sowed the seeds of the tragedy we have been witnessing. Canada currently spends, on average, 30 per cent less of its gross domestic product on long-term care than the other Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, and prioritizes its limited funds on warehousing older adults rather than helping them stay in their own homes.

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Counterpoint: Protect our domestic supply by shutting down the paid-plasma industry

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

The fact that the federal government gave blood brokers licenses to export plasma out of cash-strapped New Brunswick and Saskatchewan has been nothing less of an embarrassing policy blunder — one that was based on the fundamental lie: that blood brokers would contribute to our national blood supply. They do not. The fact is that the private paid-plasma model is being systematically abandoned throughout the world.

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The case for putting seniors’ care under the Canada Health Act

Sunday, May 10th, 2020

One of the most critical undertakings by governments across the country over the past five to 10 years has been reining in runaway health care budgets. And most governments have been successful in doing so. Adding long-term care to health budgets would be a serious blow to those efforts. Then again, maybe Canadians can agree that this is something that needs to be financed… “It would be the first big expansion of our medicare system that has happened in decades…”

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Crisis in long-term care homes exposes the need for a new federal-provincial health accord

Thursday, April 30th, 2020

Ottawa’s share of public-health care funding has fallen to 23 per cent from 50 per cent since the creation of medicare in 1966… The COVID-19 crisis has exposed the holes in the model… the Trudeau government has consistently directed a deaf ear to provincial demands for a new health care funding agreement that tackles the country’s demographic elephant in the room. It has touted plans for a national pharmacare program, though it has taken no concrete step in that direction.

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Sanders’ ‘Medicare for all’ plan isn’t Canadian-style. It’s much more radical

Tuesday, March 10th, 2020

Total health-care spending here in 2019 was $264.4 billion. The public share was about $184 billion. A Sanderian-style approach would thus bring about $80 billion in annual private spending — namely, private insurance and out-of-pocket spending — on to government balance sheets… Medicare for all may be a popular slogan among left-wing activists in the U.S, but it… goes far beyond the public insurance model in Canada and elsewhere…

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The future of medicare shouldn’t be left up to the courts

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

Most countries with universal health care have a mix of public and private provision and payment of care… Canada actually has more private spending and a greater dependence on private insurance than virtually every other country with universal health care… for prescription drugs, dental care, vision care, hearing aids, home care, long-term care and much more. Surely many of these services are “medically necessary,” but public access and funding is greatly lacking. Ultimately, we need to decide what is covered by medicare and what isn’t.

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