Hiring consultants to fix health-care systems doesn’t work

Too often, politicians wrongly assume that the leaders of health organizations are unwilling and unable to bring about bold reforms

Hiring consultants to fix health-care systems doesn’t workUsing management consultants to design reforms for Canada’s health systems has become an increasingly popular strategy used by provincial and federal governments over the past several decades. But it’s not always been good value for money spent. So why do governments do it? In my home province of Manitoba, the newly-installed Conservative government of Premier…

How to put Canadian health-care innovation into practice

It’s no easy feat in the often-intractable and rigid Canadian health system, but the payoff can be immense for patients and care providers

How to put Canadian health-care innovation into practiceBy Clare Liddy and Erin Keely EvidenceNetwork.ca It all started when the two of us sat down over a cup of coffee. As a family physician and endocrinologist, we stand on opposite sides of a large chasm called patient wait times, and we both started seeing more and more of our patients swallowed up by…

Health-care is stuck in a decades-old communication model

Patients want to book appointments online, track the status of their referrals and access their records. That all requires political leadership

Health-care is stuck in a decades-old communication modelTechnology has revolutionized how we live, play and work. We don’t think twice about using an app to make a restaurant reservation, track a parcel’s expected delivery date online or ask an online agent questions about a product we want to purchase. In many ways, technology has also revolutionized medicine. We’ve developed drugs, designed devices…

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…

Canada’s health-care wait times hit new record high

Although we know that universal systems elsewhere deliver more timely access at similar or lower costs, we still pursue wrong-headed policies

Canada’s health-care wait times hit new record highCanada’s national shame is at a record high, with no cure in sight. In 2016, we hit the 20-week mark for the average wait time for treatment by a specialist (across 12 medical specialities) after referral from a general practitioner. Twenty weeks is a far cry from the 9.3-week wait measured by the Fraser Institute’s…

Monitoring the effectiveness of our prescription medications

It’s time we stepped up our system of drug surveillance to track why drugs are prescribed and their outcomes

Monitoring the effectiveness of our prescription medicationsBy Jenna Wong and Robyn Tamblyn EvidenceNetwork.ca What conditions do you take prescription medications for? Are they working? Have you had negative side-effects? It may surprise you to know that answers to these critical health questions aren’t well documented for most Canadians. Yet they would provide the crucial information needed to ensure our medications are…

Patients being kept in the dark about best treatment plans

To fight costs, Canadian patients are being denied coverage for biologics until all other (less expensive and less effective) measures are explored

Patients being kept in the dark about best treatment plansAs a stem cell biologist, I was very excited when Nobel laureate Dr. Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University developed cellular reprogramming, which enables us to generate patient-specific, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Being pluripotent, these cells have the potential to make any cell or tissue type in the body. Being patient specific, tissues derived from…

Canada’s health-care system fails to account for senior migration

Migrating seniors pay most of their lifetime taxes in one province and then consume most of their health care in another

Canada’s health-care system fails to account for senior migrationBy Ashley Stedman and Jason Clemens The Fraser Institute The recent meeting of G7 health ministers should provide a wake-up call for policy-makers about Canada’s ailing health-care system. Compared to many of our G7 counterparts, Canada’s system is fraught with problems, including comparatively high costs and long wait times. One largely overlooked problem is how…

‘What gets measured gets done’

We lack critical information on the diverse and often unmet needs of Canadian children with disabilities, as well as the out-of-pocket costs paid by families

‘What gets measured gets done’By Stephanie Dunn and Jennifer Zwicker EvidenceNetwork.ca “The true measure of a nation’s standing is how well it attends to its children, including their health, safety, material security, education and socialization, and their sense of being loved, valued and included in the families and societies into which they are born,” according to UNICEF. Yet how…

National pharmacare has the power to heal an ailing system

Universal drug coverage for Canada may offer a small personal loss for a few but a larger public gain

National pharmacare has the power to heal an ailing systemThe Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) recently published a report outlining the expected costs and benefits of a possible national pharmacare program – and it’s pretty good news for most Canadians. The pharmacare program that was assessed was one proposed by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health in 2016. This committee provided the program’s…