Canada Doctors

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.

Dear Health Minister, We Need Federal Leadership In Medicare Restored

Colleen M. Flood | Posted 11.18.2015 | Canada Politics
Colleen M. Flood

You will know well from history that real change won't happen by providing more federal money with unconditional transfers.Real change will require helping provinces to shift the focus of our health system away from those who are relatively well resourced to new areas of care, such as essential pharmaceuticals and homecare.

As A Doctor, These 5 Flu Myths Make Me Shake My Head

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre | Posted 11.17.2015 | Canada Living
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

To the healthy individual, the term "flu season" may sound abstract, perhaps irrelevant. But the flu, or influenza, kills about 3,500 Canadians every year and causes about 12,200 of us to be hospitalized due to the illness itself or related complications.

Trudeau Must Intervene To Save Quebec's Public Health-Care System

Damien Contandriopoulos | Posted 11.11.2015 | Canada Politics
Damien Contandriopoulos

The only chance to save medicare in Quebec is a direct intervention of the federal government. We, doctors and experts, ask the new prime Minister of Canada and the federal Minister of Health to enforce the Canadian Health Act in Quebec and to cut federal health transfers until Quebec conforms.

It's Time To Stop Dividing The Mind From The Body In Health Care

Paul Kurdyak | Posted 11.09.2015 | Canada Living
Paul Kurdyak

Our health system often divides mental health from physical health into distinct silos of care and treatment, yet no such mind-body duality exists in actual patients. Many individuals with chronic health conditions simultaneously experience mental health issues -- and the reverse -- and such "concurrent" health challenges are far from uncommon.

What Trudeau Can Do To Make Medicines Accessible To All Canadians

Steve Morgan | Posted 11.05.2015 | Canada Politics
Steve Morgan

Financial barriers to filling necessary prescriptions result in worse health for patients. They also result in increased use of taxpayer-finance hospital and medical care. In other words, they don't save anybody money in the long run.

Is Your Doctor Superstitious?

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre | Posted 10.30.2015 | Canada Living
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

While interviewing a Sunnybrook surgeon a few months ago, the topic of superstitions came up. He told me that similar to the general public, superstitions are common among medical practitioners. Studies have shown that superstitions are more prevalent in professions and circumstances with higher degrees of uncertainty.

Health Care Gets Harder When Politicians Make Medical Decisions

Nadia Alam | Posted 10.27.2015 | Canada Politics
Nadia Alam

As the public watches "entitled" physicians struggle under the barrage of Liberal hostility, they miss the very real danger of a government stuffing an already glutted health care system with more administration. As David Gatzer pointed out, this is "a system designed for political popularity, not smart policy."

Proposed User Fees for Health Services in Quebec Threaten Canadian Health Care

Danielle Martin | Posted 10.21.2015 | Canada Politics
Danielle Martin

Medicare is a defining program and a source of enduring commitment from coast to coast, and all political parties claim to support the Canada Health Act. Why are we not hearing resounding denouncement of Minister Barrette's plan to "normalize" user fees from our federal politicians?

Doctors Can't Write a Prescription for Poverty

Vivian Tam | Posted 10.19.2015 | Canada Living
Vivian Tam

What good is it to treat illness if we can only send our patients back to the conditions that helped make them sick to begin with? Our health is strongly influenced by factors such as income, our working environment and affordable housing, over which neither patients nor medical doctors have much control.

Response to Refugee Crisis Must Include Expanding Refugee Healthcare

Y. Y. Brandon Chen | Posted 10.13.2015 | Canada Politics
Y. Y. Brandon Chen

Lack of healthcare has dire consequences for the well-being of refugees and can also stand in the way of their integration into new environments. For the four-million Syrian refugees living in the neighbouring countries, their access to healthcare has been severely hampered by the funding shortage facing aid agencies.

Is Health Care Finally Becoming the Election Issue it Should Be?

Dr Ryan Meili | Posted 10.08.2015 | Canada Politics
Dr Ryan Meili

National drug coverage has long been a priority for the more than one in five Canadian households that can't afford to buy needed prescription medicines. But in spite of decades of calls for a new program, the idea seemed not ready for primetime. The cost of national pharmacare was seen to be too great in a time of low political appetite for new universal benefits. But it turns out that pharmacare isn't a money sucker -- it's a money saver.

Why We Need to Listen to Ontario Doctors About Fee Cuts

Tracey Tremayne-Lloyd | Posted 10.08.2015 | Canada Politics
Tracey Tremayne-Lloyd

With all due respect to André Picard and his assessment that the social media voice of Ontario doctors is sounding "shrill, self-indulgent and counterproductive" as they continue their dispute with the Ontario government over fee cuts, I would counter that, given their current situation, our physicians are acting in a perfectly rational manner.

Canadian Children Need a National Champion

Laura Stymiest | Posted 10.08.2015 | Canada Parents
Laura Stymiest

A Commissioner for Children and Young Persons could report on the status of children. They would ensure all sectors consider children in decision-making. A Commissioner for Children and Young Persons could also provide a framework of accountability for a federal commitment to eliminate child poverty.

How I Coped Through Illness and Injury

Cheryl Muir | Posted 10.07.2015 | Canada Living
Cheryl Muir

Two months ago, I was in a car accident. I was rear-ended at 60kph by a guy driving recklessly behind me. This split-second action threw me into a tailspin of injuries, endless medical appointments and insurance headaches galore.

A Letter of Gratitude to My Doctor

Deri Latimer | Posted 09.14.2015 | Canada Living
Deri Latimer

Have you thanked your doctor lately? How about all those other really important people in your life, who truly contribute to your happiness and well...

These Lessons Can Save a Child's Life

Jason Tetro | Posted 09.09.2015 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

Each time a child encounters one of a number of pathogens, such as the flu, bacterial foodborne illness, and some of the common cold viruses (but not rhinovirus), the immune system not only responds to fight, but also remembers the invader at the molecular level.

Basic Income Is Just What the Doctor Ordered

Danielle Martin | Posted 09.08.2015 | Canada Living
Danielle Martin

What makes people sick? Infectious agents like bacteria and viruses and personal factors like smoking, eating poorly and living a sedentary lifestyle. But none of these compares to the way that poverty makes us sick. Prescribing medications and lifestyle changes for our patients who suffer from income deficiency isn't enough; we need to start prescribing healthy incomes. The upstream factors that affect health -- such as income, education, employment, housing, and food security -- have a far greater impact on whether we will be ill or well. Of these, income has the most powerful influence, as it shapes access to the other health determinants.

National Pharmacare Isn't the Answer

Alan Cassels | Posted 07.07.2015 | Canada Politics
Alan Cassels

Bigger does not always equal better; sometimes bigger means dumber. Any national pharmacare program would need an absolute firewall to protect it from the inevitable politics of drug coverage, otherwise you'd be left with even more irrational and expensive drug coverage decisions.

Quebec-Style Pharmacare Program Won't Work for the Rest of Canada

Marc-Andre Gagnon | Posted 07.01.2015 | Canada Business
Marc-Andre Gagnon

Eight provincial health ministers organized a roundtable with healthcare professionals and academic experts on June 8 to discuss how we should transform drug coverage in Canada and several are now calling for a national pharmacare program. The question now is, what kind?

Is It OK to Question Your Doctor About Hand Washing?

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre | Posted 06.25.2015 | Canada Living
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

If you ever suspect that your doctor, nurse or other health-care provider forgot to use the hand sanitizer, by all means raise the question. But, in reality, most patients in your situation are reluctant to do so. Surveys going back almost a decade found that Ontario patients didn't want to be placed in the role of a police officer to ensure that doctors and nurses wash their hands.

How We're Trying to Inject Health Policy Into Mainstream Media

Kathleen O’Grady | Posted 06.25.2015 | Canada Politics
Kathleen O’Grady

For the last 30 years or so, Canadians have repeatedly flagged healthcare as the most important national concern and the issue they want their political leaders to prioritize. Surveys and studies and polls and panels -- there have been plenty -- all come up with the same finding: Canadians care about healthcare.

BC Doctors' Election Could Determine Future of Public Healthcare

Dr Ryan Meili | Posted 06.18.2015 | Canada Business
Dr Ryan Meili

In the runoff vote ending this week on June 18, the physicians of British Columbia need to do more than elect a new president, they must also decide which values should guide the profession -- individual profit or the public good.

Doctors' Religious Beliefs Don't Belong in Our Publicly Funded System

Tracey Tremayne-Lloyd | Posted 06.17.2015 | Canada Living
Tracey Tremayne-Lloyd

In a blog post last August, I discussed the heated debate that was taking place regarding whether doctors should be allowed to refuse treatment on mor...

We Have Built a Sickness Care System Rather Than a Health System

André Picard | Posted 06.12.2015 | Canada Living
André Picard

For almost 30 years I've tried to help Canadians understand their health system and their medical care. In that time, I've seen tremendous advances in medicine. Modern medicine has become so specialized that many physicians treat specific syndromes and body parts, and the patient herself gets lost in the process. We have filled our temples of medicine with such bedazzling hi-tech tools that we've forgotten that we should treat people where they live. In our desire to cure, we over-treat.