Archive for the ‘Health Policy Context’ Category

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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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StatsCan report analyzes cannabis use since legalization

Friday, February 28th, 2020

A new Statistics Canada report on cannabis says use of the substance is up, riding in a vehicle with a driver who has consumed is down, and more Canadians are obtaining their cannabis from legal sources… More frequent users are at the highest risk of problems… Early indications from this study suggests use among Canadian youth has not increased. However, cannabis use at older ages and overall prevalence did increase.

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Canadians with mental illness deserve access to medical assistance in dying

Tuesday, February 18th, 2020

There is no evidence vulnerable patients are being pushed into assisted death against their will. If anything, the contrary is true. MAID has become an option for the elite, while people with physical and mental disabilities have repeatedly had to turn to the courts to have their right to choose respected… We don’t insist that patients with terminal cancer content themselves with hopes and prayers, and we shouldn’t expect people with intractable mental illness to do so either.

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Should government have a say in what drugs are prescribed to patients?

Wednesday, December 18th, 2019

Canada is slow to approve new biosimilars; since 2006, Health Canada has approved only six, compared with 13 approvals by the European Medicines Agency. We also have among the highest prices in the world for both biologics and biosimilars, so more co-ordinated and aggressive price negotiations are required.

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CMHA Ontario provides recommendations on Bill 116

Tuesday, December 17th, 2019

The Ontario government’s proposed Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence must focus on implementing core mental health and addictions services provincially, rigorous data collection and health quality improvement initiatives… CMHA Ontario… also advised that any funds recouped from opioid manufacturers through litigation would be best directed to front-line addictions care…

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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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