An Era of Restraint in Health Care Spending in Canada

December 16, 2014 11:55 am

The question is whether the current decline represents a permanent bending of the health care cost curve or a temporary pause In the wake of new health expenditure data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), the evidence continues to mount that Canadian public health expenditure growth is moderating. […]

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The Canadian Doctor Who Prescribes Income to Treat Poverty

December 10, 2014 12:00 pm

Last fall when I visited Canada, I met a Toronto doctor named Gary Bloch who developed a poverty tool for medical practitioners. The tool assesses what patients might need other than prescriptions for the newest drugs. Bloch’s idea was to zoom in on the social determinants of health–food, housing, transportation–all […]

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Private Delivery of Healthcare Can Work in a Publically Funded System but Comes with Risks

December 1, 2014 3:24 pm

What the rest of Canada can learn from Alberta’s experience If you look at an old map of Canadian healthcare policy, just near Privatization Island is a big warning: “Here be dragons.” So it proved for Alberta Health Services last month when a seemingly innocuous decision—to swap the tender for […]

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Health in all Policies Approach Gaining Traction Across Political Spectrum in Canada

November 27, 2014 10:17 am
Frame on eye chart

When counselling patients on health, physicians often focus on lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise or smoking. This kind of advice can be important for the individual, but does little to change underlying drivers of health like income, education and employment. These factors are the ones that have the greatest […]

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Canadians want Patient Online Healthcare Options: So What’s the Hold Up?

November 25, 2014 10:03 am
Hand over keyboard

Eight in 10 Canadian adults want online access to their own health information yet fewer than one in 10 currently have it, so says a new study published in Healthcare Papers. The gap is just as wide for other patient online services, such as booking appointments, e-visits, or requesting prescription […]

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Media Coverage of Youth Suicide Linked to Increased Emergency Room Visits for Mental Health Distress

November 12, 2014 12:02 pm
emergency room

Outreach efforts following high profile suicides can save lives In the last few years, two high profile youth suicides in the Ottawa region garnered tremendous media attention and, as a new study suggests, resulted in increased emergency room visits by youth for mental health distress. First was the suicide of […]

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A New Paradigm for Cancer Prevention

November 3, 2014 9:57 am

There have been several advances in the treatment of cancer over the last 20 years. We have new targeted oncology drugs with fewer side effects and improved technology allowing for more sensitive and earlier detection. Evolving research guides oncologists not only when to use chemotherapy, but more importantly, when not […]

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Canada Relying too Heavily on Unpaid Caregivers—At a Cost

October 29, 2014 10:00 am
2. Nursing Home

Almost half a million Canadians go without necessary homecare. The unexpected and largely unreported good news about homecare in this country is that the vast majority of Canadians who receive home help or homecare for a chronic health condition are getting all the services they need. According to a recently […]

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Seniors are not the Wealthy Generation Despite Recent Media Hype

October 16, 2014 2:01 pm

Why we need to invest in affordable housing, homecare and long-term care for seniors Working as an advocate for seniors’ issues can feel like pushing water uphill. Yet, after a challenging few years which has seen headlines of flood and fire, bad food, bed sores and a chronic shortage of […]

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Why the Mental Health of Girls Needs National Attention

October 10, 2014 12:22 pm
Girls Action Foundation

Canadian girls internalize emotional stress and report high rates of depression, psychological distress, anxiety disorders and eating disorders. The recent Maclean’s cover story, entitled Revenge of the Teenage Girl, was too tempting not to read. No doubt they were publishing this in honour of the third International Day of the […]

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The Fifth Floor

October 6, 2014 10:01 am

While mistakes happen and human error affects every institution, there is absolutely no excuse for routine neglect for the most vulnerable in society, wherever it may occur. However, it is all the more reprehensible when it happens in a hospital, an institution that exists solely for the care of others. […]

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Prescription Drug Costs Hurting Canadians: Why the Public Health System Needs to Evolve

October 2, 2014 10:07 am

This week, health ministers from across Canada will gather in Banff to discuss issues of common interest and explore opportunities to work together. Pharmacare–a program that would see all prescription drug costs covered through a publicly funded system instead of out-of-pocket–will almost certainly be on the agenda. Decision makers often […]

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The Importance of Follow-Up Care After An Emergency Room Visit: Why Too Many Canadians Are Falling Through The Cracks

September 25, 2014 10:00 am

Television shows have popularized the theatrical entrance into the hospital emergency room: patients racing down hallways on gurneys with worried doctors and nurses running alongside–great drama. How most patients leave the emergency room isn’t quite as dramatic, but the facts tell a good news story. About 85 per cent of […]

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Now There is Proof for the “Angelina Jolie Effect”

September 22, 2014 10:00 am

Breast cancer screening for rare genetic mutations doubles Up to this point, it had only been a hypothesis: that celebrity fire-power can definitively drive consumer health behaviour in a certain direction. The case here concerns whether women wish to embark on a genetic hunting expedition to see if they are […]

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Seeing Clearly: Canada’s Healthcare System Performs Well with a Human Touch

September 16, 2014 9:58 am

I had cataract surgery last year–a terrifying prospect for a visual person. I love art and ocean views, and I was nervous about anyone working on my eyes. I delayed surgery a couple of times but finally committed. As it turned out, my surgery went fine. In fact, I loved […]

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Five Things Most People get Wrong About Canada’s Health-care System

September 12, 2014 10:00 am

A recent court challenge before the British Columbia Supreme Court threatened to change the rules of the game for the Canadian health-care system—should the challenge have made its way to the Supreme Court of Canada and found success there. Dr. Brian Day of the Cambie Surgeries Corporation is contesting the […]

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Sex, Lies and Physician Supply: Why Female Doctors are not to Blame

September 8, 2014 11:59 am

Among the many reasons offered for why many Canadians are increasingly facing difficulties finding a family physician to call their own is the fact that the workforce has become increasingly female. The argument usually goes something like this: female family practitioners work fewer hours, take time out to raise families […]

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