Big health-care change takes big courage

The status quo is no longer good enough to deliver equitable access to high quality care in a cost-efficient manner

Big health-care change takes big courageBy Karen Palmer and Noah Ivers Women’s College Hospital If there’s one thing provincial governments across Canada can agree on, it’s that the status quo in health care is no longer good enough to deliver equitable access to high quality care in a cost-efficient manner. Ontario’s Ministry of Health under the previous government led the…

Health care wait lists make a mockery of the system

At its core, the problem is related to lack of funding. It's time for Ottawa to provide the necessary funds or launch full-scale medicare reform

Health care wait lists make a mockery of the systemMost Canadians think our health-care system is a national treasure and much superior to the American system, where poor people often don’t get the treatments they need and costs can be catastrophic. Instead of focusing on how Canada’s health-care system compares to America’s, we should be looking at European systems that offer better health outcomes…

Nurse practitioners the solution to Canada’s health care woes

So why aren’t we making use of this important human resource?

Nurse practitioners the solution to Canada’s health care woesBy Linda Silas Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions and Ivy Lynn Bourgeault University of Ottawa You can be forgiven if you’ve never heard of nurse practitioners. Most Canadians haven’t – and most don’t know their value to our health-care system. You may be even more surprised to learn that nurse practitioners could be the innovative…

Pharmacare proposal raises some serious questions

Free prescription drugs won’t mean a thing if Canadians can’t access the drugs they need. There has to be a better way to manage our supply

Pharmacare proposal raises some serious questionsBy Susan Martinuk Research associate Frontier Centre for Public Policy The Liberal federal government made a pre-election promise to establish a single, universal pharmacare program that would cover all, or most, of the costs of prescription drugs for Canadians. The idea has been discussed for decades, but the public conversation has rarely gone beyond unproven…

Why is health care the last service industry to go virtual?

The health and cost benefits of delivering smarter care while the patient stays at home could be enormous

Why is health care the last service industry to go virtual?Have you noticed how there are no more lines to talk to live tellers in banks? Twenty years ago, I remember having to think about scheduling my time to wait in line to do my banking and trying to strategize going at non-peak hours. Today, on the rare occasions I have to go, I can…

Siblings who become caretakers often lack adequate support

Individuals with developmental disabilities live longer than ever and that means the responsibility for care is shifting to siblings

Siblings who become caretakers often lack adequate supportA combination of better medical care and good lives in the community mean longer life expectancies for individuals with a developmental disability. That’s good news. But many are outliving their parents, who have taken care of them over their lifetimes. Once parents are no longer able to provide the same level of support or care,…

Common surgical knee procedure doesn’t provide much benefit

A growing body of research shows that most older adults will get the same long-term outcomes from less invasive treatment

Common surgical knee procedure doesn’t provide much benefitBy Eric Bohm University of Manitoba and Ivan Wong Arthroscopy Association of Canada Nearly half of Canadians aged 65 and over experience osteoarthritis in their knees. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of bones wears down over time leading to pain, stiffness and decreased…

Facing frailty head-on

A national seniors strategy needs to account for complexity in the aging process, including risk and vulnerability

Facing frailty head-onBy Russell Williams and John Muscedere Canadian Frailty Network Canadians 65 years and older now outnumber children 14 years and under, which means our needs as a society are changing. We’re succeeding in shifting the aging curve through preventive interventions and better public health – that’s good news. But the changing demographic is causing strains…

Quebec’s universal prescription drug program offers valuable lessons

Public coverage in Quebec is not only more generous, but drug approval is more timely than anywhere else in the country

Quebec’s universal prescription drug program offers valuable lessonsAs the Oct. 21 election looms, the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seems poised to make pharmacare a central issue of the campaign. In June, the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare, led by former Ontario health minister Eric Hoskins, tabled a report proposing a single-payer government-run universal drug plan in Canada.…

Creating an unnecessary barrier between doctors and patients

A convoluted – and doomed – communication portal in Nova Scotia has failed the health care system and its users on both sides

Creating an unnecessary barrier between doctors and patientsMost businesses encourage clients to electronically access their own information because consumers value the efficiency and convenience of electronic access. Unfortunately, the Nova Scotia Department of Health (DOH) has a different idea. It has been a successful barrier preventing most Nova Scotians from retrieving and using their own health information. Few Nova Scotians have access…

Let’s make Canadian hospitals more senior-friendly

Hospitals need to identify vulnerable patients with complex needs so they can quickly address and minimize complications

Let’s make Canadian hospitals more senior-friendlyBy George Heckman and Paul Hébert Canadian Frailty Network Canadians are living longer. Unfortunately, our hospitals aren’t ready for them. Canadians over 65 years old use more than 40 per cent of hospital services, a demand that continues to rise. But as they age, Canadians hope to stay at home as long as possible. If…

Why Milton Friedman’s ideas still resonate

Why Milton Friedman’s ideas still resonateWere he still alive, Milton Friedman would have celebrated his 107th birthday on July 31. An intellectual giant, his ideas played a significant role in making the world a freer and more prosperous place. Those ideas remain vital. From driving the elimination of military conscription in the United States to influencing the economic transformations that…

More community care means less time in nursing homes

But a study shows that residents in those regions are entering nursing homes with more complex care needs

More community care means less time in nursing homesBy Matthias Hoben and Carole Estabrooks The most recent census, in 2016, showed that almost 17 per cent of Canadians are over age 65. In fact, those older than 85 have increased by almost 20 per cent since 2011, making it the fastest growing age group in Canada. We’re an aging populace, there’s no getting…

Markets, lower taxes will ease health-care queues

The fundamental problem causing Canada’s health-care scarcity is a lack of private spending

Markets, lower taxes will ease health-care queuesWithout serious government course correction, Canada is headed for a health-care squeeze. The senior dependency ratio in Canada – the ratio of people 65 years and older relative to the working-age population (15 to 64 years old) – is projected to rise from 25 per cent today to around 40 per cent by 2042. And…

Donor-conceived people need to know their medical history

The first international Genetic Identity Day comes just as Health Canada seeks to prevent people from knowing their genetic identity

Donor-conceived people need to know their medical historyBy Juliet Guichon, Barry Stevens and Ian Mitchell People have a moral right know their medical, social and cultural history, and the identity of their genetic parents. And this right applies to those who have been adopted or conceived by egg and sperm that were either sold or given. This moral right is marked in…
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