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The health-care spending law of Wildavsky and Harper

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

Oct. 31 2012
After 10 years of average annual growth in public health spending of 7 per cent, the increase levelled off in 2011 to 3.3 per cent, and to 2.9 per cent this year, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information… And, unlike in the early 1990s, when a virtual freeze on new spending led to bed closures, layoffs and a general stasis in the system, cost control didn’t depend on program or employment cuts.

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Posted in Health Delivery System | No Comments »


Generic drug use must be a priority

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Nov. 01 2012
It’s estimated that, for every 1-per-cent increase in generic drug utilization in Canada, Canadians save an additional $260-million. . While Canada’s generic pharmaceutical industry supports efforts to reduce trade barriers, the EU’s drug patent demands will increase trade barriers for Canadian generic pharmaceutical exports while increasing prescription drug costs by as much as $3-billion annually.

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Medicare’s front door, primary health care, needs a remodel

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Oct. 31 2012
… if I could cite just one change that would make health care more sustainable, it would be transforming the front door to the health-care system – primary health care… more attention must be paid by policy-makers to that first contact, and the early intervention, co-ordination and ongoing support that might prevent the need for acute care.

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Poverty gives way to inequality and the Great Frustration

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

Oct. 20 2012
Inequality has increased – and when that happens, economists have shown that there’s a corresponding collapse of social mobility, the ability to escape your income group for a higher one… When the rich get richer, the poor usually get poorer. But the converse isn’t true: Countries with strong redistributive systems and free economies are usually both wealthy and equal.

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Posted in Equality History | 2 Comments »


Health-care competition: Can Britain’s experience help Canada?

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Oct. 19 2012
More patients chose – with the help of their GPs – to go to better hospitals… Hospitals in areas where patients had more choice had greater improvements in clinical quality (measured by lower death rates after admission) and greater reductions in lengths of stay than hospitals in less competitive areas… better management is associated with better outcomes in NHS hospitals and that management tends to be better when hospitals compete with each other.

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What Canada can learn from Obamacare

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Oct. 19 2012
First… addressing the contentious issue of what exactly would be covered. The solution they chose recognizes that as practices and technologies change, so does the best way of meeting a population’s health needs… Second… health benefits obtained through employment are not taxed as income. At just the federal level, Canada’s Department of Finance calculates the value of this subsidy to be more than $3-billion… The third… is delivery system reform.

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Prorogation is an unnecessary abuse of Ontario Premier’s power

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Oct. 18 2012
… the legislature has been prevented from expressing its criticism of the government and pursuing its contempt investigation… It’s not as though there were no other options than to prorogue… It is incredibly troubling that the functioning of Ontario’s democracy has been delegated to a political party’s executive.

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Evidence as guide

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Oct. 16 2012
According to Statscan, more than 750,000 children were prevented from falling into poverty in 2010 thanks to child benefits and other programs targeted to low-income families. In Ontario, an innovative approach to child benefits was instrumental in taking 20,000 children out of poverty rolls, even as unemployment soared.

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How to improve life for at-risk children

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

Oct. 11 2012
children from poor or abusive families have more challenges in school and, as adults, have markedly worse health. Now, scientists understand why. The experiences of a child during the first 2,000 days of his or her life affect brain circuitry and impair social and mental development because genes react to the environment… By providing early learning enrichment, it is possible to reverse the impact of adverse circumstances on a child’s brain.

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Posted in Child & Family Debates | No Comments »


The awful truth about social programs

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

Oct. 13 2012
Hardly any of the countless programs that spend billions of dollars to help the poor and vulnerable are measured for results. According to the Cato Institute… “We are spending more than enough money to fight poverty but not spending it in ways that actually reduce poverty”… we’ve got to start spending public money more wisely. To do that, we need rigorous evidence about what works.

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Posted in Social Security Debates | 1 Comment »


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