How do we address Canada’s scarcity of doctors?

Greater use could be made of nurse practitioners and physician assistants, including for relatively uncomplicated medical procedures

How do we address Canada’s scarcity of doctors?While health care is a dynamic service characterized by the continual introduction of new drugs and medical devices, physicians remain at the centre of health-care delivery. So it’s worth noting that Canada lags well behind almost all developed countries in the availability of physician services. Canada ranks 29th out of 33 high-income countries for the number…

Fluoride is not only pointless, it’s a health risk

There are concerns about fluoride’s effect on IQ. And the cost of fluoridation far exceeds its claimed benefit

Fluoride is not only pointless, it’s a health riskBy Dr. Bob Dickson and Dr. Hardy Limeback Contributors The fluoridation debate is still very much alive in Calgary, where pro-fluoridation advocates have had a field day, citing claims that seemingly support their position. Many of those claims are either misleading or completely incorrect. A recent letter in the Calgary Herald signed by 22 dentists,…

Break the awkward silence about end-of-life decisions

Why you should start talking early to your family and friends about your wishes, and some tools to help you get the conversation started

Break the awkward silence about end-of-life decisionsBy Sharon Kaasalainen and Tamara Sussman EvidenceNetwork.ca Many people must make critical decisions for family and friends who are at the end of their lives. This can create a great deal of stress and burden. They must navigate the social and health-care systems while coping with their impending loss and grief. A large proportion of…

When prescriptions do more harm than good

A new national program has pharmacists dispensing advice on how to curb harmful medications, particularly for seniors

When prescriptions do more harm than goodBy Phil Emberley and Wendy Levinson EvidenceNetwork.ca Pharmacists should be talking to patients about stopping or tapering dangerous medications, like benzodiazepines, to help curb long-term use and dependency. Sleep doesn’t come easy as we age. Take Ilsa, a 78-year-old recent widow. Since her husband passed away, she has slept poorly. A recent hospitalization and the disorienting…

Social media can help drive health-care change

The Change Day movement can inspire workers to question how they do things and encourage them to try something new

Social media can help drive health-care changeBy Tanishq Suryavanshi and Michael K. Parvizian EvidenceNetwork.ca Over the past few months, patients and health-care providers have been encouraged to pledge to improve compassionate quality care in Ontario as part of a movement called Change Day Ontario. Nearly 6,000 voices have made pledges on the site and through social media. They range from the individual…

Ottawa blocking Canadians’ access to innovative drugs

Health Canada’s revisions to the drug-pricing review board will delay or prevent access to new drugs

Ottawa blocking Canadians’ access to innovative drugsEveryone wants affordable medicines, but are Canadians prepared to accept the trade-off of even longer delays before we can access innovative drugs? Last May, then-federal health minister Jane Philpott announced proposed changes to the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) designed “to protect Canadians from excessive drug prices.” PMPRB is an independent federal organization that,…

Disability tax credit falls short for too many Canadians

Why is the Canada Revenue Agency denying the tax credit to those who need it most?

Disability tax credit falls short for too many CanadiansBy Jennifer Zwicker and Stephanie Dunn EvidenceNetwork.ca “Providing benefits not burdens” is how former Health Minister Judy LaMarsh once described the vision for disability policy in Canada. Unfortunately, this vision is not a reality when it comes to one of the main benefits open to Canadians with disability: the federal disability tax credit (DTC). Administered…

Include people living with frailty in health-care decision-making

Older Canadians say their top priorities are better co-ordinated care systems and more community and home-based supports

Include people living with frailty in health-care decision-makingBy Katherine McGilton and John Muscedere EvidenceNetwork.ca More than one million Canadians are medically frail – approximately 25 per cent of those are over age 65 and 50 per cent past age 85. The aging of Canadian society and the growing number of older adults living with frailty poses unprecedented societal and medical challenges that will…

Charity is not enough to fight poverty, social inequality

Food banks remain a symptom of bigger problems – poverty and social inequality. We need systemic change to fix those bigger problems

Charity is not enough to fight poverty, social inequalityWe’ve just emerged from the season when everyone wants to help support their local food bank initiatives. But ‘sharing the season’ always poses a tough question for me: How do we help our neighbours when, according to Canada Without Poverty, there are 4.9 million neighbours to help? The number of Canadians in need only seems…

The perils of bottom-line blood collection

Why is Health Canada aiding a private company instead of safeguarding Canadian blood supplies?

The perils of bottom-line blood collectionAs the snow falls and the mercury drops, Health Canada has found itself in some hot water. The trouble has been years in the making – since at least 2013. That’s when Canadian Plasma Resources (CPR), a profit-seeking company that pays individuals for their blood plasma, sought to open its first location. A recent media…
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