Steer clear of the Big Money Club when crafting national pharmacare

Prescription drug policy in Canada ought to be decided in the interest of Canadians, not based on the power of industry sector lobbies

Steer clear of the Big Money Club when crafting national pharmacare“Canadians face some of the highest prescription drug prices in the world,” admitted the federal government when announcing the interim report from its Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare. If Canadians hoped this report would provide details on how a national pharmacare program might be implemented and funded, they only got a taste.…

New breast screening guidelines fail Canadian women

Outdated material used by the task force could result in the deaths of far too many women. A new set of guidelines must be drawn up

New breast screening guidelines fail Canadian womenChanges to breast cancer screening guidelines have been big news since the release of the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care’s updated guidelines in December. Women aged 50 to 74 are now recommended to undergo screening mammography every two to three years, while women 40 to 49 are advised not to undergo screening and…

National pharmacare can hurt patients more than it helps

Will likely result in reduced access to new drugs, and delay research and development

National pharmacare can hurt patients more than it helpsThe federal government’s pharmacare advisory council released a report last week outlining the “foundational” elements of a national plan. And Tuesday’s federal budget may include more details. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding regarding core aspects of the pharmacare debate. Given that proponents in Canada often cite government-funded pharmacare programs in the United…

Address your fear of dying, express end-of-life care wishes

As physicians, we see death made worse and more painful every day by poor advance care planning

Address your fear of dying, express end-of-life care wishesBy Paul Hébert and George Heckman Canadian Frailty Network Are you or a loved one aging, perhaps with a chronic heart or lung condition that limits daily activities? Do you have an older parent in a nursing home or who needs assistance with daily living activities? If so, read on and make the pledge. As…

Quebec’s health-care privatization a lesson for the whole nation

But much still hinges on the outcome of the ongoing court case in B.C.

Quebec’s health-care privatization a lesson for the whole nationBy Amélie Quesnel-Vallée and Rachel McKay EvidenceNetwork.ca Ask a random Canadian if our health system looks more like that of the United States or the United Kingdom. Chances are, most will respond that our system is nothing like the U.S. – which is largely paid for privately – and every bit like the U.K., which…

Sharing medical information securely and in real time to better serve patients

Rohit Joshi talks about how Brightsquid’s patient information technology helps protect the viability of the health-care system

Sharing medical information securely and in real time to better serve patientsRohit Joshi is chief executive officer at Brightsquid. What is Brightsquid and how did it start? Joshi: Brightsquid Secure Communications Corp. is a Calgary-based communications software company that has developed technology to transfer patient information between doctors and between doctors and their patients. Clinics that use Brightsquid Secure Mail see improved patient safety and a reduction in wait times for…

Indigenous communities should tap into the medical tourism market

The James Smith Cree Nation could create what would be Saskatchewan’s first private-pay MRI facility

Indigenous communities should tap into the medical tourism marketA First Nation community about 70 kilometres southeast of Prince Albert, Sask., hopes to generate profit within five years from a private MRI clinic. The James Smith Cree Nation could create what would be the province’s first private-pay MRI facility. This became possible when the Saskatchewan government passed legislation in 2016 allowing for such facilities…

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 EvidenceNetwork.ca 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 hospitalization is…

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 and Ivan Wong EvidenceNetwork.ca 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 mobility. It frequently occurs in the…

Health-care reform in Canada is coming one way or another

The system's weak performance, rising costs, shifting demographics and a court challenge will all drive change

Health-care reform in Canada is coming one way or anotherBy Jason Clemens and Niels Veldhuis The Fraser Institute There is perhaps no service the government is involved with more personal than health care. When a person or loved one is sick and in need of care, Canada’s failing health system becomes an immediate concern. There’s a general consensus among analysts that Canada is a…

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…

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 and Ivy Lynn Bourgeault EvidenceNetwork.ca It was recently national Nurse Practitioner Week, but you would 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…

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 EvidenceNetwork.ca 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 way by…

How do we decrease emergency room visits?

Canadians have the highest rates of emergency room visits among high-income countries. We need a better care model

How do we decrease emergency room visits?You get home after a long day at work and the cough that’s been bugging you just doesn’t seem to be letting up. Your muscles ache, you have chills and you hear a slight wheeze when you breathe out. Do you head to the local emergency department? A walk-in clinic? Or does your family doctor…

Wello founded on a healthy foundation

Vince Danielsen talks about how building the growing health-care provider was a lot like putting a winning football team together

Wello founded on a healthy foundationVince Danielsen is CEO of Wello. Calgary’s Business: What is Wello? When and why was it founded? Danielson: Wello is an innovative virtual health-care provider that gives people anytime, anywhere access to services that help them get well when they’re sick and keep well over the long term. We have a saying at Wello –…
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