Nursing school students not ready for digital transformation

Need better education to keep up with the fast pace of innovation

Nursing school students not ready for digital transformationCanada’s nursing school graduates are not as ready as they should be for the digital transformation happening in health care, according to a University of Alberta researcher. Nurses need better education to keep up with the fast pace of innovation – from robots at the bedside to virtual care and virtual reality treatments to electronic…

No need to choose between lower taxes and health care

Failings of the health system are not due to chronic underfunding

No need to choose between lower taxes and health careIf Quebec voters have one concern during the current election campaign, and just about every election campaign for decades now, it’s the health-care system. Contrary to what many commentators have been claiming for years, the failings of the health system are not due to “chronic underfunding.” For this reason, the notion that lower taxes would…

Bureaucracy may be necessary, but it is never harmless

There is nothing that bureaucracy cannot make worse

Bureaucracy may be necessary, but it is never harmlessBureaucracy begats bureaucracy, building its own demand and transforming people into managers designed to meet bureaucratic needs. A bureaucracy designed to serve patients ends up serving its creators instead and protects those who work inside. Economist William Niskanen offered a definition of bureaucracies in his book Bureaucracy and Representative Government. Roughly speaking, he says, 1)…

Health care user fees promote equity and efficiency

Offer a small step to solving overconsumption and waste

Health care user fees promote equity and efficiencyTwenty-eight countries have universal healthcare. Twenty-two of them have some form of cost sharing. User fees offer one example. User fees work best as a small, flat fee paid at the point of service. Even a few dollars discourage (rational) people from booking an appointment for what they asked twice previously. User fees shorten the line…

Are Canadians drinking too much alcohol?

A new report recommends a person only drink an average of zero to two alcoholic drinks per week

Are Canadians drinking too much alcohol?Looks like Canadians are drinking way too much alcohol. According to a recent report from the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) which includes the assessment of over 5,000 different past studies on alcohol consumption from around the world, our country’s alcohol drinking guidelines need to be significantly reduced. The report recommends a…

Tone-deaf politicians ignore the realities of health care

Political expediency once again trumps the realities of fixing health care

Tone-deaf politicians ignore the realities of health careCanada’s health-care system continues to implode and fail Canadian patients at a catastrophic level. Systemic problems and staffing issues are overwhelming health care delivery, and people are dying from a lack of proper care. Daily news reports now relate the most egregious dysfunctions as patients sought help and instead found themselves in a chaotic system…

Hospital woes continue to mount – nothing new here

More money won’t solve the systemic, pervasive, and structural issues that plague Canadian health care

Hospital woes continue to mount – nothing new hereHospital staffing in Ontario is in crisis – as it is in Alberta, British Columbia, and the rest of Canada. Provinces are responding with what they perceive as solutions: Ontario is fast-tracking foreign-trained nurses, and Alberta has made the interprovincial movement of professionals easier. But while these moves will help reduce the red tape surrounding…

Why our health system treats Canadians poorly

Do we or the government own our bodies?

Why our health system treats Canadians poorlyFormer B.C. deputy minister of health Lawrie McFarlane’s July 24 commentary on the “Cambie Surgery Centre ruling” (a descriptive that ignores two cancer patients and three children who were co-plaintiffs) contained some valid commentary. The crisis we now face in our health system is there for all to see and observe. Notably, McFarlane offers no solutions.…

Canadian health care at a crossroads

It’s time to stop talking about money and start talking about changing health care

Canadian health care at a crossroadsIt has been a revealing week for Canadian health care and what we have witnessed is not good. In Fredericton, NB, a senior passed away while waiting for care at a hospital emergency department. A witness noted that the man was “clearly in discomfort,” yet it wasn’t enough to gain the attention of health-care workers.…

Canada’s health-care system is irretrievably broken

Drastic changes are needed. Millions of Canadians on wait lists know that. Why don't politicians?

Canada’s health-care system is irretrievably brokenDrastic changes are needed if we are to repair the Canadian health-care system. Millions of Canadians waiting for medically-necessary surgeries and procedures already know that. It’s time for the rest of us to catch up and start advocating for change. At least five million Canadians are without a family doctor. More than one million Canadians…

More black doctors means better care for all patients, says MD grad

Yusef Yousuf’s dream is to serve Toronto’s immigrant communities as a family doctor

More black doctors means better care for all patients, says MD gradWhen Yusef Yousuf was 10, he had a health scare that set him on a path to improve medicine. He was playing soccer at lunch with his friends and took a tumble, fracturing his arm below the shoulder. His mother rushed him to the local hospital, where the doctor noticed something unusual on the X-ray:…

Why health care can’t change

When it comes to fixing health care, governance matters more than policy

Why health care can’t changeFew voters had first-hand experience with hallway medicine or Canada’s world-famous wait times before the pandemic. Lockdowns changed everything. Health policy failure moved from fear-filled headlines into a tangible crisis everyone could feel. Failure begs for better, or even new policy, to fill gaps. Planners and policy writers jump to offer solutions: surgicenters, funding reallocation,…

Alberta First Nation clinic will cut health-care wait times

The pandemic clearly taught us that Canada’s health-care system needs to reform

Alberta First Nation clinic will cut health-care wait timesIndigenous communities across Canada should learn from an Alberta First Nation that’s establishing a private health clinic to provide services that will reduce the pressure on the public system. The Alberta government recently approved a plan by the Enoch Cree Nation, close to Edmonton, to build a private clinic specializing in hip and knee surgeries.…

Quebec’s ailing health-care system

More than 20 per cent of Quebecers currently don’t have a family doctor

Quebec’s ailing health-care systemBy Krystle Wittevrongel and Maria Lily Shaw Quebec’s health-care system is suffering from poor accessibility. More than 20 per cent of Quebecers currently don’t have a family doctor. The overcrowding of hospital emergency wards and the long wait times that result are also notorious. A key to improving the health system’s capacity is to address…

The consequences of the doctor shortage in Canada are grim

The evidence is overwhelming: Canada needs more doctors

The consequences of the doctor shortage in Canada are grimThe coronavirus pandemic has accomplished what a multitude of government reports could not – that is, to draw Canadians’ attention to a faltering health-care system characterized by a chronic shortage of beds, overflowing emergency departments, and limited numbers of surgical personnel and operating suites. The flaws have been there for decades, but willful blindness on…
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