Canada Doctors

Improving Ontario's Health Care System For Patients And Physicians

Dr. Eric Hoskins | Posted 04.25.2016 | Canada
Dr. Eric Hoskins

As Ontario's Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, it is my responsibility to ensure that we have a health care system that delivers the best possible care for all patients. This means putting the needs of patients first and foremost with each and every decision I make. It means providing patients with faster access to care today, and building a sustainable system that will be there for patients and their families in the future.

Eric Hoskins' Latest Attack On Ontario Physicians Falls Flat

Sohail Gandhi | Posted 04.25.2016 | Canada Politics
Sohail Gandhi

Eric Hoskins has taken the position that the health care needs a "system transformation." I wholeheartedly agree with that statement. However, rather than get to work on meaningful transformation, he has elected to play politics instead. The result will be a continuance of uncertainty and compromised health care for all Ontarians.

Advanced Directives For Assisted-Dying Is A Dangerous Step

Harvey Max Chochinov | Posted 04.06.2016 | Canada Politics
Harvey Max Chochinov

In any assisted-dying regime, a competent patient is free to change their mind or express their ambivalence by withdrawing a request or postponing an assisted death. To permit an assisted death to proceed on the basis of an advance directive effectively denies this protection to persons who are no longer capable of making or expressing health-care decisions.

It's Time For The Federal Government To Enforce The Canada Health Act

Dr Ryan Meili | Posted 04.04.2016 | Canada Politics
Dr Ryan Meili

Extra-billing in Ontario, private MRIs in Saskatchewan and user fees in Quebec: violations of the Canada Health Act are on the rise across the country. Canadian doctors are concerned about the impact of this trend not only on their patients, but on our public health care system as well.

Canada's Health Facilities Cannot Handle Physician-Assisted Death

Harvey Max Chochinov | Posted 04.01.2016 | Canada Politics
Harvey Max Chochinov

With the advent of physician-hastened death, there has never been a more pressing moment in history demanding we get our approach to human suffering and palliative care right. Fewer than two per cent of patients will likely choose to have their lives ended; most will want to live out the length of their days in care and comfort. That should not be asking too much. One thing is for certain: the dying are too ill to speak, and the dead will never complain.

Canada Needs A National Strategy To Tackle The Rise Of 'Superbugs'

Bryan Thomas | Posted 03.29.2016 | Canada Politics
Bryan Thomas

In the arms race between germs and medicine, the global community has two complementary strategies at its disposal: First, we can develop new antimicrobials, and secondly, we can slow the emergence of resistant strains through judicious use of current antimicrobials.

Desperation Is Setting In For The Ontario Liberals

Sohail Gandhi | Posted 03.28.2016 | Canada Politics
Sohail Gandhi

Rather than show real leadership and work with physicians, the Liberals, desperate to increase their popularity and to cover up their mismanagement of the health-care system, have chosen to vilify the one group of people that could reasonably have helped not only them, but the people of Ontario, in improving the health-care system.

The Risky Concept Of Mental Illness Assisted Suicide

Harvey Max Chochinov | Posted 03.28.2016 | Canada Politics
Harvey Max Chochinov

The Parliament's Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Death, nevertheless, urged the federal government not to exclude individuals with psychiatric conditions from being considered eligible. Their reasoning comes down to this: Mental suffering is no less profound than physical suffering, so denying individuals with mental illness access to physician hastened death would be discriminatory and a violation of their Charter rights. It's an excellent point, and one worth seriously discussing.

Suicide Among Physicians Is A Public Health Crisis

Amitha Kalaichandran | Posted 03.24.2016 | Canada Living
Amitha Kalaichandran

Researchers estimate we lose more than 400 doctors per year in the U.S. to suicide (an entire med school) and 150 med students yearly. We're a highly regulated profession. Doctors are tracked endlessly and publicly shamed if we veer off course in any way, and if we die by suicide, suddenly it's like we never existed.

Canada Needs Policies Ensuring Sick Days For Workers

Dr Ryan Meili | Posted 03.16.2016 | Canada Politics
Dr Ryan Meili

With the exception of Prince Edward Island, no province or territory guarantees a minimum number of paid sick days for employees. Across the country, young people, seniors and low-wage workers are the hardest hit. Less than half of young and older employees work in jobs that provide paid sick days. The lower an employee's pay, the less likely they are to be covered by a voluntary sick days policy. This needs to change.

It's Time For Big Pharma To Open Up About Drug Safety And Effectiveness

Matthew Herder | Posted 02.17.2016 | Canada Politics
Matthew Herder

If Canada is to implement national pharmacare, surely we want to know more about the drugs we'll be paying for. To this end, we must tackle a pre-existing challenge: we must open up the evidence our drug regulator houses concerning drug safety and effectiveness. For decades Health Canada has kept that information confidential at the behest of drug manufacturers. This practice limits the ongoing evaluation of a drug's safety and effectiveness and, in turn, provincial and territorial governments' decision-making about which drugs to pay for, not to mention physicians and patients who make decisions about which drugs to prescribe and take.

There's No Excuse For Treating Patients According To Race

Amitha Kalaichandran | Posted 02.16.2016 | Canada Living
Amitha Kalaichandran

Race medicine promotes the false belief not only that human beings are naturally divided into races but also that racial inequality is caused by innate racial differences we must accept rather than social inequities we must change. Race is not a biological category that produces health disparities because of genetic differences, but racism has negative biological effects on people's bodies.

Alberta Can Keep Health Care Affordable Amid Sliding Oil Prices

Martin Ferguson-Pell | Posted 02.05.2016 | Canada Business
Martin Ferguson-Pell

As world oil prices and the Canadian dollar slide perilously, Albertans must become more inventive and rigorous in managing our costs -- and our expectations -- especially in high-cost areas like infrastructure, education and health care. Health care is the biggest challenge.

A Good Doctor Knows The Power Of A Compassionate Diagnosis

Sharon Vinderine | Posted 02.03.2016 | Canada Living
Sharon Vinderine

The MRI showed that the number of lesions on his brain had doubled, and that the medication was not working. I immediately started to tear up and the genius doctor looked at me and then at my husband and said, "Graeme, I believe I have said something to upset your wife." This doctor was seriously intuitive.

Canada's New Health Accord Could Be Trudeau's Obamacare

Patrick Fafard | Posted 01.25.2016 | Canada Politics
Patrick Fafard

This week the country's 14 health ministers have been gathering in Vancouver for a pan-Canadian summit to begin negotiating a new health accord. The previous accord saw $41 billion transferred to the provinces over the last decade. This next one may be even bigger.

Health Minister Philpott Needs To Attach Strings To Health-Care Dollars

Dr Ryan Meili | Posted 01.21.2016 | Canada Politics
Dr Ryan Meili

In his letter to the minister, Prime Minister Trudeau tasked Health Minister Philpott with "engaging provinces and territories in the development of a new, multi-year Health Accord with long-term funding agreement." As the health ministers meet in Vancouver, how can they bend the curve toward a less costly and more effective health care system? How can they ensure the funds invested this time around will buy real improvements in health?

Medical Want Or Medical Need? Our Healthcare System Hangs In The Balance

Brian W. Rotenberg | Posted 01.08.2016 | Canada Living
Brian W. Rotenberg

As patients are becoming more knowledgeable about their own care, and as doctors develop a wider array of options available to treat diseases, the costs are increasing. So it may be time to better distinguish between medically necessary care and optional care, for the sake of our country's limited health care budget going forward. It's a discussion worth having.

Ontario Needs To Do More About Doctors Who Abuse Patients

Lorian Hardcastle | Posted 01.08.2016 | Canada Living
Lorian Hardcastle

Ontario's College of Physicians and Surgeons receives numerous deeply concerning reports of doctors sexually abusing their patients each year despite the adoption of a "zero tolerance" approach to such abuse 20 years ago. This persistent problem has eroded public trust in doctor self-regulation.

How Many Doctors Does Canada Really Need?

Ivy Lynn Bourgeault | Posted 01.05.2016 | Canada Politics
Ivy Lynn Bourgeault

Why do we not dedicate even a fraction of what we put into actually paying our health workers for their services into coordinated planning for those services? We don't just need another short term task force to manage health worker supply. We need effective management of our entire health workforce on an ongoing basis.

Why Doctors Must Change How They Medicate Patients

John Muscedere | Posted 01.05.2016 | Canada Living
John Muscedere

Using non-beneficial medications or failing to offer comfort medications to chronically ill patients is potentially harmful, time-consuming and simply bad medical care. Unnecessary or unwarranted medical interventions, including medications, are also costly to the healthcare system. It's time to embrace new ways of thinking.

Canadians Need To Be Having End-Of-Life Conversations

Michelle Howard | Posted 01.05.2016 | Canada Living
Michelle Howard

Studies have shown that people who have end-of-life conversations with their doctors and family members are much more likely to be satisfied with their care, and their caregivers are less likely to suffer from depression, or left wondering if they made the right decisions for their loved ones.

Canada Should Modernize Not Privatize Our Health-Care System

Colleen M. Flood | Posted 12.16.2015 | Canada Politics
Colleen M. Flood

We desperately need universal coverage for a full array of health care goods and services -- pharmaceuticals, mental health services, home care and out-of-hospital diagnostics. Canada is unique among OECD countries in the paucity of what it covers on a universal basis despite falling in the top quartile of countries in levels of per capita health spending.

Doctors Can Help Cure Poverty Without Leaving The Office

Gary Bloch | Posted 12.11.2015 | Canada Living
Gary Bloch

The push for doctors to treat social issues like poverty is starting to change the way we practice medicine and how we work with community agencies and those with expertise in income benefits, food security and poverty law. Many health organizations now are right in the middle of advocacy for better social conditions. Major medical organizations, including the Canadian Medical Association and the Canadian College of Family Physicians have been vocal in their support for this approach. This demonstrates a real acceptance by the medical mainstream that reducing patients' poverty is a core part of a doctor's job.

Money For The Privileged, Austerity For The Rest Of Us

Jeff Begley | Posted 12.08.2015 | Canada Politics
Jeff Begley

I decided to give you a short list of the Couillard government's extraordinary spending this fall for friends of the Liberal Party. You see, the list speaks for itself and shows how much the austerity we are confronted with varies depending on who's involved.

We Need Trudeau To Prioritize Pharmaceutical Drug Coverage

Steve Morgan | Posted 11.20.2015 | Canada Politics
Steve Morgan

Unlike any comparable country, Canada's universal public health care system effectively ends as soon as a patient is handed a prescription to fill. Millions of Canadians have no drug coverage at all and millions more have coverage that is inadequate to ensure access to medicines.