Michel Kelly-Gagnon: New Prescription Drugs Are Worth the Cost
(HuffPost) We cannot deny the fact that the costs of prescription drugs have been increasing at a considerable rate over the last few decades. Prescription drugs spending as a share of all healthcare expenditures in Canada rose from 6.3 per cent in 1975 to 13.4 per cent in 2012. While total healthcare spending per capita has almost tripled during this period, per capita expenditures on prescription drugs have increased six-fold.
But should this trend be a source of concern? Not necessarily. Although costly in the short-term, new drugs tend to lower overall health spending in the long run, by reducing expenditures on other categories of medical care. Indeed, innovative pharmaceutical therapies have been, over the years, increasingly substituted for other, more costly types of medical treatments and surgeries that require hospitalization.
a href=”http://www.grandchallenges.ca/stars-r3-grantee-announcement-en/”>Grand Challenges Canada: Funding for inventive health projects in developing countries
The government funded body awards $100,000 financial seed grants to innovators around the world, and will be looking for more ideas in the next few months.
Grand Challenges Canada announces 68 grants awarded to 17 innovators in Canada and 51 innovators in the developing world for their bold and creative ideas to tackle health conditions in poor countries. The projects were submitted in response to Stars in Global Health – Round 3, a program that supports exceptional innovators who have Bold Ideas with Big Impact in the area of global health, and who are based either in Canada or in low-income or lower-middle-income countries. The projects that received funding are summarized below, listed in alphabetical order by country. Click on the project links to read the project summary, watch a short video and download images.
Doctors, developers hacking their way to better healthcare
(CTV News) Software developers often use “hackathons” to brainstorm ideas with colleagues, especially to design games and create new social media tools. But a new grassroots organization is putting doctors and developers together to hack their way to solutions to health-care inefficiencies.
On a recent Wednesday evening in Toronto, a few dozen developers converged on Toronto General Hospital to discuss Hacking Health’s three-day hackathon in October. …
Co-founder Jeeshan Chowdhury, himself a PhD in health information systems and a third-year medical student at the University of Alberta, said the idea for Hacking Health came to him at a health conference in Montreal. He attended a discussion on health care innovation, which was led by a panel that didn’t know the first thing about technology, or software design and development. …
Hacking Health came together pretty quickly after Chowdhury joined forces with an executive in the eHealth sector, Luc Sirois.
Canadian research could lead to the elimination of hip and knee replacement surgery
(RCInet) Dr Nizar Mohamed of the University Health Network in Toronto has been looking in using stem cells to grow cartilage. If successful, the cartilage could replace damaged cartilage caused by arthritis in such areas as hip joints and knees. This has the potential to reduce the costly and invasive surgeries for replacement of hips and knees. Currently there are about 50-thousand such surgeries annually in Ontario alone. In the US its about a million such surgeries annually.
Stem cell cure for implants under research at Toronto hospital
Incoming head of Canadian Medical Association sees a ‘deeply demoralized’ medical profession
(Canada.com) The emergency physician at Stanton Territorial Hospital assumes the helm of the Canadian Medical Association in August, when more than 300 delegates gather in Yellowknife for the CMA’s 145th annual general council meeting.
[Dr. Anna] Reid will be the first CMA president from the Northwest Territories. It will also be the first time the annual meeting will be held in the Northwest Territories.
The assembly of what has been dubbed the “parliament of Canadian medicine” comes amid fresh warnings from Canada’s premiers that a new 10-year federal health accord will gut nearly $36 billion in funding to the provinces, resulting in less money for doctors, nurses and health care across the country.
Earlier this year outgoing CMA president Dr. John Haggie accused the Harper government of gnawing away at the country’s social safety net, warning that plans to raise the pension eligibility age to 67 would force low-income seniors to choose between buying groceries or buying medicine.
Reid says the profession has become “deeply demoralized” through the years because of a “top-down, this-is-what’s-going-to-happen” approach to local health planning and a federal government that seems to be distancing itself from health care.
Premiers forge own health-care path
(Globe & Mail) Canada’s premiers are taking the lead on health-care reform without direct leadership from Ottawa, a departure from the way the country’s cherished but increasingly expensive system has long been managed.
By acting alone, the premiers are answering Ottawa’s call to action. Late last year, Prime Minister Stephen Harper granted provinces more autonomy to reshape health care as Ottawa moves to end 50 years of using its funding power to coerce provinces to adopt national standards.
Mr. Harper essentially asked provinces, with some federal guidance, to do as they see fit in their own jurisdictions while inviting them to co-operate in establishing national benchmarks for delivering health services.
Premiers talk health care … at Halifax summit
(CBC) At the premiers meeting in Halifax today, the provincial leaders spent the morning talking about health care and said they want to use teams to better care for patients and save money by buying a few generic drugs in the next year.
The two ideas are some of the recommendations coming out of a six-month study led by the premiers of Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island.
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says the federal government “stated pretty clearly by what they didn’t say and what they did say that they weren’t perhaps as interested in innovation as we’d like.”
The report contains a dozen main recommendations and broadly covers:
- How regions can stop poaching doctors and nurses from each other.
- How provinces can bulk buy some generic drugs to save money.
- How patients receive treatment – what kind of treatment, and from whom.
- Specifically, the report recommends that starting this fall, the provinces pick three to five generic drugs to be part of a bulk buying program to get better prices. The first group order is expected next spring.
- The report also recommends that provinces use new guidelines in treating heart disease and diabetes, address health human resources, and create a new website to better communicate about labour markets. And Wall suggested engaging front-line workers in how to save money on operations and capital, which he says has saved his province millions of dollars.
Premiers should also consider adapting best practices from the provinces that are effectively using health-care teams to better look after patients, according to the draft report. It quotes examples in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, provinces where nurse practitioners do primary care.
Harper Government Supports Health Care Innovation
(Press Release) The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, visited with researchers at Lawson Health Research Institute (Lawson) today where she highlighted how Harper Government investments are helping strengthen healthcare across the country. Lawson is the research institute of London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and St. Joseph’s Health Care London. The Minister also toured research labs at LHSC’s Victoria Hospital.
Fraser Institute report claims thousands have left Canada for medical care
(Yahoo!) The right-leaning Fraser Institute is stirring the pot with a new report that claims that 46,169 Canadians left the country to get medical treatment elsewhere in 2011.
“In some cases, these patients needed to leave Canada due to a lack of available resources or a lack of appropriate procedure [or] technology,” Nadeem Esmail, the author notes in his report.
Common diabetes drug promotes development of brain stem cells
Researchers at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) have found that metformin, a drug commonly used to treat Type II diabetes, can help trigger the pathway used to instruct stem cells in the brain to become neural (nerve) cells. Brain stem cells and the neural cells they generate play a role in the repair of the injured or degenerating brain. This study suggests a novel therapeutic approach to treating people with brain injuries or potentially even neurodegenerative diseases.
Dépression: les préjugés persistent au Québec
(La Presse) La dépression est toujours perçue de manière très négative au Québec. Près de la moitié de la population ne voterait pas pour un politicien atteint de la maladie ou n’engagerait pas une personne qui présente des symptômes de dépression, révèle un sondage interne du ministère de la Santé que La Presse a obtenu. L’étude montre aussi qu’une campagne publicitaire du gouvernement a été peu efficace pour éliminer les préjugés.
Ottawa backs down on refugee health-care cuts
(Toronto Star) Ottawa has backed down on its health-care cuts for resettled refugees on income support, but other asylum seekers are still not immune from the axe.
The federal government quietly amended information about the changes on its website late Friday, just before the cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) kicked in on the weekend.
As a result, impoverished refugees resettled to Canada through government and private sponsorships can still access hospital services, diagnostic and ambulance services, as well as supplementary health support such as wheelchairs, dental and vision care — equivalent to what is available to low-income Canadians.
Critics who fought staunchly against the cuts said Ottawa’s flip-flop indicates the government’s recognition of vulnerable refugees’ health-care needs.
(CBC) Federal cuts to refugee health care draw protests
Budget 2012 misses mark on health leadership, says CHA
The Canadian Healthcare Association (CHA) notes that Budget 2012 reflects the government’s focus on creating jobs and economic growth for Canada. But when it comes to health system improvement, CHA asks, where is the federal leadership?
“Budget 2012 addresses a number of important health concerns,” said Pamela C. Fralick, President and CEO, Canadian Healthcare Association. “But, Canada will not have the world class health system it deserves with a piecemeal approach. Federal leadership is a necessary component of comprehensive health system improvement.”
CHA was pleased by announcements for an important network of mental health researchers focusing on depression and PTSD, genomics research, and research on interprofessional healthcare teams through McMaster University, and alternate sources for medical isotopes. While student loan forgiveness for doctors and nurses who work in rural and remote areas is welcome, CHA would like to see this extended to other health professions.
Quebec premier calls health-care funding formula ‘unacceptable’
Quebec Premier Jean Charest blasted on Monday Prime Minister Stephen Harper for refusing to explain to Canadians why he is slashing funds for medicare.
Provinces will be burdened by health-care costs: Kevin Page
The Conservative government’s decision to trim the growth in health-care funding will help ensure long-term fiscal sustainability of federal finances but will place a huge financial burden on the provinces, says Parliament’s spending watchdog.
Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page released a report Thursday examining the projected financial health of the provincial and federal governments, following Ottawa’s announcement of a new 10-year health funding agreement that will slowly scale back the growth in health transfers.
Top 10 health stories of 2011: food chemicals, vitamin D and brain waves
Article on how EEGs can measure awareness of vegetative patients takes top spot
Veterans’ health concerns demand more research funding
(CBC) Canadian military veterans and veteran research groups are calling for a funding increase to assist returning soldiers who struggle with their mental and physical health.The Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research focuses on both the mental and physical health of new veterans. It officially launched this fall in Kingston, Ont.
Diabetes discovery brings out hospital’s entrepreneurial side
(Globe & Mail) Tuesday’s agreement between Sanofi-Aventis and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre on a wound-healing molecule demonstrates how entrepreneurial hospitals can become when the very sustainability of medicare is in question.
Canada’s North frozen out of doctor supply
In southern Canada, one doctor cares for an average of 438 people, but in the country’s northern regions, one physician is responsible for the health of as many as 3,333 people, according to a new report from the Conference Board of Canada.
The most acute shortages are in northern Saskatchewan, Nunavut and northern Newfoundland and Labrador, the latest report from the organization’s Centre for the North research institute finds.
Private rooms save lives and money
(The Gazette editorial) the McGill University Health Centre and the Centre hospitalier de l’Universite de Montreal will have a total of 1,272 private patient rooms, including those in the intensive-care units.
There’s no time to waste getting those rooms operational. For years now, Quebec’s crowded and under-maintained hospitals have been the breeding grounds for tenacious hospital-acquired infections like C. difficile. As a new study this week shows, private rooms can go a long way to preventing those infections.
(Reuters Health) – Intensive care unit (ICU) patients placed in private rooms may pick up less than half as many infections as those in rooms with multiple beds, hints a new Canadian study. Read more
French superhospital facing higher costs, more delays
(CTV) Construction on the McGill University Superhospital, as well as the new Montreal Children’s and Shriners Hospitals, began this past summer in the Glen Yards.
But the long-awaited French language CHUM hospital, first proposed in the mid-1990s and projected to be completed in 2003, is now facing even more delays and a massive $300 million increase in its cost estimate.
Quebec is right to drop its user-fee plan
What was going to be called a health deductible would have charged Quebeckers for the “consumption of health-care services” and was projected to bring in $500-million as of 2013-14. Charges seemed likely for doctor’s office or hospital visits.
Keith Martin, MD; Member of Parliament, Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca, B.C., Liberal Party of Canada
Our Health-Care System Needs Urgent Care
Canadians must embrace the resources locked within the private sector if we are going to have a sustainable health care system. These are the findings of the just-released Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development report, which thoroughly debunks the myth that Canada has the best health-care system in the world.
Universal pharmacare touted as way to save billions
(Globe & Mail) New study dismisses out-of-hand the notion that a public drug plan is unaffordable
The report argues that Canada’s jumbled assortment of public and private plans and wildly varying drug policies across jurisdictions is inefficient, costly and inequitable. But, above all, it says Canada pays too much for drugs – between 16 and 40 per cent more than other industrialized countries – in a bid to attract pharmaceutical investment. CBC
Health Minister accepts ‘prudent’ advice not to fund MS treatment
Vascular procedure to treat multiple sclerosis is invasive and too risky for clinical trials, Leona Aglukkaq says
Health agency dampens MS patients’ hopes by rejecting clinical trials
Keep Canadians in loop on health-care spending: A-G
Ottawa needs to do a better job telling Canadians how their health dollars are being spent and start making long-term projections to prepare for the aging population, auditor-general Sheila Fraser said.
Ms. Fraser also called on Tuesday for the federal government to undertake long-term fiscal projections to determine the challenges that lie ahead in funding the health-care system as the population ages. She also noted that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government should be projecting the long-term costs of climate change on the population.
Currently, the federal government only looks ahead about three to five years, said Ms. Fraser, and it should be looking down the road at least 25 years.
New MDs need choice, not coercion
(Gazette editorial) For years Quebec has used just one approach to the intractable problem of staffing hospitals and medical centres in far-flung regions: We force newly-minted doctors to move to places with which they have no connection, and in which they have no interest in setting up practice
… Across the U.S., almost 5,000 recent med-school graduates have accepted federal grants to pay off their school loans. The grants, averaging $150,000 per student, have a string attached: the young doctors must remain in rural or other under-served areas for three to five years.
CMA issues five-pillar plan for health-care reform
In a new report entitled “Health Care Transformation in Canada: Change that Works, Care that Lasts,” the CMA says health-care reform is urgently needed if the system is to remain sustainable in the future.
The report warns that many patients are unsatisfied with the level of care they receive across the system, and that Canadians are not getting value for dollars spent. The report cites the Euro-Canada Health Consumer Index, which ranked Canada 30th of 30 countries for value for money spent on health care.
The CMA’s so-called five pillars for transformation are:
* Refocusing the system so it serves the needs of patients. The report contains a charter for patient-centred care.
* Improving access to care and the quality of care, partly through funding incentives to health-care facilities that exhibit better efficiency and higher patient satisfaction.
* Identifying and correcting gaps in care, particularly the limited access to prescription drugs in some provinces and territories, and discrepancies in the delivery of services once a patient is discharged from hospital.
* Helping health-care providers care for their patients, be it through addressing staff shortages at facilities to adopting the most up-to-date health information technologies.
* Boosting accountability and responsibility at all levels in the system.
The report’s recommendations come after the CMA spent a year interviewing patients, policymakers and health-care professionals. (CBC) Help transform medicare, CMA tells Canadians
Harper, Aglukkaq singled out for stinging rebuke at AIDS conference
Julio Montaner, the outgoing president of the International AIDS Society who is also a Canadian, saved his parting shot for the government of Canada, issuing a sharp rebuke.
“I am ashamed to say that the Government of Canada has punched well below its weight in funding universal access and supporting those affected by HIV and AIDS in Canada and around the world.”
Ottawa’s AIDS strategy targets research, mother-child transmission
More than six months after its controversial decision to scrap a planned $88-million vaccine plant, Ottawa is renewing its partnership with the Gates Foundation in the fight against HIV and AIDS, this time pledging to redirect the unspent millions to research and to halting the spread of the disease between mother and child.
Shriners move ahead with Montreal hospital Finally some good news!
The $100-million hospital will be built on two hectares next door to the Montreal Children’s Hospital, part of the McGill University Health Centre in the city’s west end. It will replace the current hospital, an 85-year-old facility in dire need of repair on Cedar Avenue at the base of Mount Royal.
Thursday’s announcement came after a decade of delays, including a failed bid by the Ontario city of London in 2005 to move the facility there.
Quebec to create 500 ‘supernurse’ jobs -Nurse practitioners can provide primary health care
Nurse practitioners have a graduate degree and can prescribe medication and provide prenatal care. They are considered key to alleviating a shortage of primary health care in Quebec.
The 500 new nurses won’t be on the ground until 2018 because it takes time to train them: They need two years of field experience before earning their full practitioner title. [Ed. note: This actually means that all 500 won't be in place before 2018; the first six have graduated from McGill, so presumably will be at work in two years.]
Quebec’s Health Ministry has been negotiating with physicians for years over bringing in more nurse practitioners. The GP federation has been reluctant, fearing doctors would lose money and patients. “The doctors want to have nurses in their practice, but with the condition that they don’t lose money,” Godin said. [There is something horribly wrong with this picture, when about 1/3 of Montrealers do not have a GP.] Quebec doctors in private practice will be eligible for a monthly $2,500 subsidy to take on a nurse practitioner. They will still receive their fee for service for every patient treated in their office, even if patients are seen by the nurse practitioner.
Press Release from the Federation of General Practitioners: La Fédération des médecins omnipraticiens du Québec (FMOQ) se réjouit de voir le gouvernement du Québec passer à l’action et annoncer des investissements importants qui permettront la création de 500 postes d’infirmières praticiennes spécialisées (IPS).
Quebec Medicare to cover in vitro costs starting in August
Health Minister Yves Bolduc announced Tuesday that fertility treatments for couples will be covered by Medicare as of Aug. 5, making Quebec the first place in North America to provide free in vitro fertilization treatments. It is estimated that the program will cost the government $25 million the first year, and up to $80 million by 2014. Not a universally popular decision. Given all the problems with current healthcare services, it seems there are many who feel the money would be better spent on other services. The Gazette editorial Unnecessary burden on our health system clearly expresses many legitimate concerns.
MUHC: Designing patient care
Sometimes, even the best-laid plans take a slight detour at the accounting office.
After years of wistful thinking and months of diligent consultation with everyone from the attending physician and front-line nurse to the folks who scrub the sinks, the McGill University Health Centre settled on a blueprint for the smart hospital room of the future.
Every adult patient would have a private room, a 25 square-metre space with a flat-screen television, art on the walls and a picture window looking out on the city, a children’s playground and the lush parkland below.
Wednesday Nighter Dr. Hing-Sang Hum replies:
Unfortunately, the health care system can’t claim all the credit. We have less gun shot injuries, less gang/drug trafffics, less war conflicts. we don’t supersize the steaks, fries etc.
Nature vs Nurture. we can’t choose our parents. But exercise regularly, eat sensibly with good sanitation probably goes a long way.
Canadians lead longer, healthier lives than Americans
Compared to their neighbours south of the border, Canadians live longer, healthier lives. Research published in BioMed Central’s open access journal Population Health Metrics has found this disparity between the two countries, suggesting that America’s lack of universal health care and lower levels of social and economic equality are to blame.
Superhospital sod turns – in a way
There will be no more delays in construction of the long-awaited McGill University Health Centre superhospital, the institution’s executive director said yesterday.
Hôpitaux en crise: les infirmières s’en prennent à Bolduc
La présidente de la FIQ affirme que la qualité des soins dans le réseau est directement liée aux conditions de travail des employés. Actuellement en négociation en vue du renouvellement de la convention collectives des infirmières, Mme Laurent accuse le gouvernement de faire preuve de «mauvaise foi»
Le directeur national des urgences démissionne
(La Presse) Alors que le réseau de la santé est en crise, le directeur national des urgences, le Dr Pierre Savard, quitte ses fonctions, a appris La Presse. Le cabinet du ministre de la Santé, Yves Bolduc, reste discret sur les raisons de ce départ et indique simplement que le Dr Savard souhaite «retourner à la pratique médicale».
Hospital crowding taking toll
(Montreal Gazette) ER horror stories; Maisonneuve-Rosemont patient dies in corridor
Figiel’s death, amid a lack of services because of overcrowding, is the latest in a string of recent emergency room fatalities that underscores a crisis in Quebec’s health care system.
The family had initially declined an autopsy.But Dr. Yoanna Skrobik, head of intensive care at Maisonneuve-Rosemont, alerted the family the next day that she had demanded an investigation into the death.
GPs lobby for raise
Earn 55% less than specialists; About 180 residencies remain unfilled in family medicine in last 3 years
(Montreal Gazette) As labour negotiations continue, Fédération head Louis Godin called a news conference to explain that 2010 will be “crucial” for the profession – and by extension, the patients. The federation is calling on the provincial Health Department to narrow the wage gap or suffer the consequences. According to data from the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec, the provincial insurance board, the gap keeps growing, from 20 per cent in 1975 to 55 per cent last year.
(Montreal Gazette) … overcrowding at Quebec’s hospital emergency rooms will be resolved in “four or five years.”
“We have the best health- care system in the world,” Health Minister Yves Bolduc said yesterday, while admitting patients sometimes have to wait for that care. “All the patients are well treated.” Bolduc said the situation has been improving across the province, but remains bad in Montreal and the city’s east end in particular. He said the critical situation at Maisonneuve-Rosemont hospital has been aggravated by an outbreak of gastroenteritis.
Experts waiting for Quebec to act on Alzheimer’s plan
Seven months after report was submitted, Health Department has yet to announce how it will proceed
Ignoring tomorrow, governing for today
(Ottawa Citizen) The Alzheimer Society has released its report as a call to action, citing the progressive moves made by other countries and challenging governments here to do the same. But in this Canada of 2010, led by a federal government that can’t see beyond the pragmatic expediencies of its own re-election, don’t count on anything happening.
The reason is simple. Government action generally means government spending. And government spending, in the Stephen Harper regime, generally means directing dollars to a narrow ideological agenda and to immediate vote-winning areas. The terrible outcomes predicted in Rising Tide are too far off to be politically engaging now.
In Canada these days, we live in a time of small, cribbed minds. Of goals that extend no farther than the next election. Of short-sighted decision-makers and visionless leaders.
Dementia will take huge toll as boomers age
(National Post) A new study by the Alzheimer Society of Canada says the country urgently needs a strategy to minimize the impact of the baby boomers’ march toward dementia.
The study, Rising Tide: The Impact of Dementia on Canadian Society, suggests that 1.1 million Canadians will have Alzheimer’s disease, or a related dementia, by 2038.
If not mitigated, dementia’s prevalence will create a tenfold increase in the demand for long-term care beds and cost the Canadian economy a staggering $97-billion annually, the study found.
The top 10 Canadian health news stories of 2009;
Marijuana’s journey to legal health treatment: the Canadian experience
Some users complain about the quality of the federal cannabis or say they need a different strain of pot than the single standardized one produced by PPS. As a result, many choose to grow their own or head to the black market.
Activists have long wanted Ottawa to loosen the rules that prevent providers (other than PPS) from supplying more than one patient. New rules were implemented in 2009 to allow designated producers to grow marijuana for one additional approved user — to a maximum of two. But that fell far short of what many in the community had wanted.
Eight years into the adoption of the Marijuana Medical Access Regulations, many activists remain frustrated with the bureaucracy and the limitations. Ottawa has shown little enthusiasm for further loosening the legal restrictions on a drug that it says still deserves a tight leash.
UBC plans to test potentially groundbreaking MS treatment
(Globe & Mail) The University of British Columbia has announced plans to begin patient trials to test a potentially groundbreaking method of diagnosing and treating multiple sclerosis. It’s the first research proposal in Canada to suggest evaluating the findings of Italian doctor Paolo Zamboni whose early studies indicate that multiple sclerosis might be caused by vein blockages that lead to a buildup of iron in the brain. Researcher’s labour of love leads to MS breakthrough
A Breath of Fresh Air for Health Care
Even the most seemingly innocuous details — a dead potted plant in a reception room, an ill-fitting hospital gown, a blaring television — can contribute to an unpleasant experience.
One Wednesday Nighter with long experience in Health care commented on this article: Kaiser Permanente is well known, has been in existence a long time, as have many similar institutions. I am in total agreement that most hospitals are very poorly designed if their goal is to achieve what is best for the patient. For starters, I believe that it is inhuman to jam a sick person into a multiple bed unit and indeed, the newer establishments are designed to maximize privacy. In the twenties and thirties when very little could be done for patients, it made sense to have large ward where the Nurse could move those most ill closest to the nursing station and patients were of help to each others, but this is the twenty-first century (I believe). The closest that I have seen to the ideal, unfortunately, is a palliative care facility in Pointe Claire. The calm and breathing space enables those at the end of their life to die in the presence of their friends and family, in a very agreeable ambiance.
Getting it online: The emergence of the e-patient
Getting health information online.Your child’s under the weather. You’re certain the little tyke’s running a fever. You’re not sure what to do, so you turn to the internet and find some tips from a source you figure you can trust, like the world-renowned Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. You follow those tips and instead of adding to the lineup in the emergency department, you deal with the problem at home and save the health-care system a little money.
Superhospital’s cost might double
Projected at $800M in the 1990s; MUHC dismisses report of soaring price tag as rumour
More family doctors needed in Canada, report urges
(CTV) Canada should aim to ensure 95 per cent of people in every community have a family doctor by 2012, urge the Canadian Medical Association and the College of Family Physicians of Canada.
The groups, which banded together two years ago to form the Primary Care Wait Time Partnership, say in order to reach this target, the country needs to increase the number of family doctors practising in Canada while also increasing the capacity of existing family physicians.
In a report released Wednesday, entitled “The Wait Starts Here”, the groups note that reports on wait times have focused mainly on access to specialty care, such as MRI diagnostics. But attention also needs to be paid to the ongoing problem of a shortage of family doctors, they say.
Henry Aubin: Abandon the PPPs
It’s not too late to return to the traditional way of building hospitals
(Under a PPP, a consortium would finance, design and construct each hospital, then maintain it for 30-odd years. Under the conventional mode, Quebec would design and maintain the building, leaving it to the private sector only to construct it).
Policy Options November 2009
“Canadians overwhelmingly support universal health care; think Obama is on right track in United States” by Nik Nanos
Nine Canadians out of ten support the principle of universal health care with a single insurer — the government. The principle of universality is itself the most popular feature of the public health care system, while waiting times are identified by a wide margin as the biggest problem. Seven Canadians out of ten also think Barack Obama is on the right track with his health care reform proposals in the United States. Contributing Writer Nik Nanos reports on the findings of his latest exclusive poll for Policy Options.
Medical establishment prevents nurses from assuming new roles
Study published in Recherches Sociographiques by University of Montreal researchers
Montreal, November 16, 2009 – Physicians still retain the bulk of decision-making power over nurses in Quebec – a situation that’s detrimental to evolving nursing roles. According to a new study by Université de Montréal researchers, published in Recherches Sociographiques, nursing functions are still very much assigned by physicians who often oversee family medicine groups (FMGs), specialized nurse practitioners (SNP) and oncology nurse navigators (ONN).
(WN #1440) Quebec has the dubious distinction of being the province with the greatest shortage of full-time family physicians – roughly 25% of the total population, and 34% of Montrealers, do not have access to a family doctor. The shortage is now estimated at 1,105. There are encouraging increases in numbers of graduating students (from 150 should reach 300 next year), but simply to maintain the current level (shortage) there is a need for an annual average of 350 new family doctors starting practice, which may be hard to achieve when eight percent of Quebec graduates leave.
First of new health-care clinics launched in Quebec – will most probably not achieve the desired results because the planning will be done centrally and the biggest problem facing Quebec is the dearth of family physicians (the shortage is estimated at 700). The definition of means rather than results is dependent on only the intellectual capacity of the planners to the exclusion of those on the front line. This appears to be slowly being recognized by some in the school system.
Quebec spends $100 million on nurse incentives
Health Minister Yves Bolduc said the government would offer graduating nurses an annual bonus of $3,000 for the next three years if they commit to work a certain number of hours in the public health-care sector. Graduating nurse practitioners would receive $2,000 and experienced nurses who agree to delay their retirement would receive an annual bonus of $8,000 over three years.
Canada to United States of America nurse migration
Nursing study published today in the International Nursing Review concludes it’s not just about the money
A study looking at Canadian-educated registered nurses working in the USA found that opportunities for ongoing education, including formal support for graduate education and ease of licensure, in addition to full-time employment, were key factors that contribute to the migration of Canadian nurses to the USA, particularly baccalaureate-educated nurses.
22 August 2006
(CBC) Canada Health care
One Supreme Court decision may have done more to change health care in Canada than three major reports and a first ministers conference that ended with a $41-billion infusion into the system.
On June 9, 2005, the high court struck down a Quebec law that prohibited people from buying private health insurance to cover procedures already offered by the public system.