Canada Doctors

New Brunswick's Opportunity to Reduce Pharmaceutical Drug Prices

Steve Morgan | Posted 12.19.2014 | Canada Politics
Steve Morgan

The Liberal government of New Brunswick appears to be stepping back from the brink of mandatory prescription drug insurance. And so they should. The drug plan chosen by the Conservatives was designed on a false premise: that the private sector can better manage things than government can. In many sectors, that might be true. But not in health care.

New Hospital Funding Method Discharges Patients "Quicker But Sicker'

Karen Palmer | Posted 12.18.2014 | Canada Business
Karen Palmer

Most Canadians probably don't realize that health care in Canada is quietly undergoing a major transformation in funding that could significantly impact patients. Three provinces -- Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia -- are implementing a new funding model for hospitals and other provinces are watching with interest.

Government Is Placing An Unfair Burden on Doctors Who Prescribe Marijuana

Tracey Tremayne-Lloyd | Posted 12.13.2014 | Canada Politics
Tracey Tremayne-Lloyd

At present, this time-consuming service is an uninsured one and its accompanying opportunity cost -- taking physicians away from attending to other patients on a fee-for-service basis -- is borne solely by the physician. Because the College considers the medical document to access medical marijuana equivalent to a prescription and, since prescriptions and activities related to prescriptions are insured services, physicians cannot charge patients; fair enough. But what about the for-profit corporations who are benefitting at the physicians' expense?

Meet the Canadian Doctor Who Prescribes Income to Treat Poverty

Trudy Lieberman | Posted 11.27.2014 | Canada Politics
Trudy Lieberman

Last fall when I visited Canada, I met a Toronto doctor named Gary Bloch who has developed a poverty tool for medical practitioners. Bloch's idea was to zoom in on the social determinants of health -- food, housing, transportation -- all poverty markers linked to bad health and poor health outcomes.

Quebec's Proposed Health Care Reform Ignores Scientific Evidence

François Béland | Posted 11.26.2014 | Canada Politics
François Béland

Scientific evidence does not support the presumption of Bill 10 that there will be a reduction in bureaucracy with the centralization of decision-making. National and international experience has shown time and time again that the proposed reform will not have the desired effects and, in fact, will make healthcare delivery more complex.

Provinces Have Reined in Healthcare Costs -- But Not for Long

Livio Di Matteo | Posted 11.13.2014 | Canada Politics
Livio Di Matteo

In the wake of new health expenditure data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), the evidence continues to mount that Canadian public health expenditure growth is moderating. Moreover, adjusting for inflation and population growth, per capita provincial and territorial government health expenditures have actually declined since their peak in 2010.

What Will Happen to Doctors' Rights if Assisted Suicide Is Legalized?

Tracey Tremayne-Lloyd | Posted 11.12.2014 | Canada Politics
Tracey Tremayne-Lloyd

If the law is changed, physicians must be given a choice as to whether or not they will practice assisted suicide. In all likelihood there will be a limited number of physicians who actually offer the service, and, just as doctors who prescribe methadone are specifically registered to do so through their governing bodies, likely similar regulations will be imposed on physicians who do elect to practice assisted suicide. For that reason, in the event physician-assisted-suicide becomes legal, there needs to be a corresponding immunity protecting doctors who have acted in good faith and that prevents family members from suing them.

A Doctor's Take on Alternative Medicine

University of Toronto News | Posted 10.29.2014 | Canada Living
University of Toronto News

Dr. Mel Borins wants to you to be healthy and he wants you equipped with more than just your family doctor's orders. A family physician and associate professor of medicine at the University of Toronto, Borins is a leading expert in health and wellness who has advocated evidence-based, alternative medicine for decades.

Is Canada Ready for Assisted Suicide?

Harvey Max Chochinov | Posted 10.24.2014 | Canada Politics
Harvey Max Chochinov

This past week, the Supreme Court of Canada has been hearing an appeal by the BC Civil Liberties Association that could grant terminally ill Canadians the right to assisted suicide. The Court faces a daunting task. Palliative care cannot eliminate every facet of end-of life suffering. Preserving dignity for patients at the end of life requires a steadfast commitment to non-abandonment, meticulous management of suffering and a tone of care marked by kindness. In response to this dignity conserving approach, the former head of the Hemlock Society conceded that "if most individuals with a terminal illness were treated this way, the incentive to end their lives would be greatly reduced."

Why Less Than Half of Canadians Get a Same or Next-Day Doctor's Appointment

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre | Posted 10.22.2014 | Canada Living
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

In recent years, provincial governments and medical associations have introduced various measures to speed up the time it takes for patients to see their primary health care providers. But relatively prompt access is still not available to a majority of Canadians. When patients can't see their family physicians, they often head to the nearest hospital -- and that contributes to longer emergency department wait times. So the issue of access has wide ramifications for the health care system.

Why You Need To Get a Flu Shot ASAP

University of Toronto News | Posted 12.07.2014 | Canada Living
University of Toronto News

Very soon, people of all ages across Canada will roll up their sleeves for their flu shots. The vaccine is already available in many doctors' offices...

Canada Needs a National Standard for Drug Coverage, Not a Patchwork System

Danielle Martin | Posted 12.01.2014 | Canada Politics
Danielle Martin

Better pharmacare for all Canadians will be difficult to achieve without the federal government at the table. The government of Canada could lead on this issue in a way that no single province or territory can do, by supporting the development of a single national list of drugs to be covered for all Canadians and by harnessing the purchasing power of the whole nation to get the best possible bang for our buck.

Why You Must See Your Doctor After a Trip to the ER

Michael J. Schull | Posted 11.30.2014 | Canada Living
Michael J. Schull

Studies have shown that inadequate follow-up care after emergency room visits is common, with up to 30 per cent of patients with chronic illnesses not seeing a doctor within 30 days after they've been sent home from the ER. Why? In part, it's because fewer than one in three primary care physicians in Canada report being notified when their patients visit an emergency department.

Doctors Shouldn't Charge Extra To Write Out a Prescription

Jenna Valleriani | Posted 11.23.2014 | Canada Politics
Jenna Valleriani

Current media reports have highlighted that doctors can legally demand a fee to fill out this form because it is not an insured service. But really, the difference between the medical document and a prescription is clearly one of semantics. By paying hundreds of dollars to have doctors fill out medical documents, we are inadvertently reinforcing the stigma surrounding cannabis for medical purposes -- the idea that there is something "illegitimate" about cannabis' therapeutic potential and the patients who use it.

Five Things Most People Get Wrong About Canada's Health Care System

Kathleen O’Grady | Posted 11.16.2014 | Canada Politics
Kathleen O’Grady

A recent court challenge before the British Columbia Supreme Court threatened to change the rules of the game for the Canadian healthcare system -- should the challenge have made its way to the Supreme Court of Canada and found success there. How our health system should be reformed, and in what measures, is nothing short of a national pastime in Canada. Too bad many get the facts wrong. Here are a few basics everyone should know.

Canada's Healthcare System Thrives When There's a Human Touch

Noralou Roos | Posted 11.13.2014 | Canada Living
Noralou Roos

It seems there is a disconnect between Canadians' personal views and their idea of how well the health system works for society at large. Canadians tout the public health care model as a big part of our national identity, say their experiences are mostly positive -- but then worry the system is failing.

Child Poverty Is a Canadian Problem

Elizabeth Lee Ford-Jones, MD | Posted 11.12.2014 | Canada Impact
Elizabeth Lee Ford-Jones, MD

This isn't just an American problem. Hundreds of thousands of Canadian children are growing up without enough. Low-income children, especially minorities and aboriginals, are growing up at an increased risk of preventable diseases -- diseases both classically medical and mental health related that arise as a result of their early living conditions and will affect us all. These numbers don't simply represent difficult childhoods; they mark a huge group of Canadians who are growing up without the supportive environments they need to develop into healthy adults.

How a National Drug Plan Can Boost the Canadian Economy

Marc-Andre Gagnon | Posted 11.07.2014 | Canada Politics
Marc-Andre Gagnon

A 2013 EKOS poll showed that 78 per cent of Canadians are in favour of establishing a universal pharmacare program in Canada. In spite of self-serving lobby groups who insist that the current system is working well and should not be reformed, establishing a national drug plan is the best thing to do for patients, for employers, for employees, for taxpayers, and for the Canadian economy.

Canada's Opioid Crisis Is Fuelled By Doctors

David Juurlink | Posted 11.07.2014 | Canada Politics
David Juurlink

he false notion that opioids are safe, effective treatments for chronic pain was inculcated by the companies that manufacture them, with self-styled "experts" preaching this gospel to front-line physicians. Incredibly, this happened in the absence of good evidence that the benefits of long-term opioid use outweigh the risks.

Sex, Lies and Physician Supply: Why Female Doctors Are Not to Blame

Lindsay Hedden | Posted 11.07.2014 | Canada Living
Lindsay Hedden

Although female physicians do work somewhat fewer hours than male physicians -- and indeed work differently in general -- there is no strong evidence that this difference has or will have any significant effect on the overall effective supply of family practitioners in Canada.

Canada Should Start Taking Climate Change Very Seriously

Claudel Petrin-Desrosiers | Posted 10.28.2014 | Canada
Claudel Petrin-Desrosiers

The situation in Canada is not different from the rest of the world. The country is already feeling the consequences of climate change: diminishing quality and quantity of water, increasing pollens and other allergens, coastal erosion, road and infrastructure degradation and floods. The health consequences of those climate change impacts are already being strongly felt.

I'm Supposed To Be A Compassionate Doctor, But I Dreaded Seeing Some Patients

Dr. Divi Chandna | Posted 10.28.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Dr. Divi Chandna

You may assume that communication between physicians and patients is relatively easy -- which in many ways it is. But no amount of preparation of this connection could have prepared me for the work involved. In primary care, we have a term called "the heart sink patient." This is the patient that dumbfounds you. Nothing you do seems to help them. When you look at your schedule and you see their name on your list, your heart sinks.

Adding More Psychiatrists to a Flawed System Won't Help Anyone

Paul Kurdyak | Posted 10.07.2014 | Canada Politics
Paul Kurdyak

How should psychiatrists' roles be defined in order to provide as much specialist care to as many high-needs individuals as possible in the most cost-effective way? Because psychiatrists appear to be organized in a far less than systematic fashion within Ontario's mental health system, there is a fairly steady level of unmet need no matter how many psychiatrists practice in a region.

Doctors Should Not Be Forced to Prescribe the Pill

Andrea Mrozek | Posted 09.30.2014 | Canada Living
Andrea Mrozek

There have been complaints about the three Ottawa doctors who won't prescribe the birth control pill. They don't prescribe it partly out of religious conviction, but also because they believe it's bad medicine. Research shows plenty of evidence against the pill. If conscience is overturned and doctors who disagree are forced to prescribe it, this will ironically mean the provision of inferior care. Using hearts and minds together is what conscience protection allows for. Does anyone actually want anything less in their doctor?

Let's Keep It Real When Making Comparisons To Canadian Health Care

Dr Ryan Meili | Posted 09.22.2014 | Canada Politics
Dr Ryan Meili

Instead of falling for false comparators, how can we have a broader, proactive conversation on the future of Canadian health care? Boston's book highlights how isolated and frustrating the experience of a patient seeking treatment for a life-altering disease can be. She describes much of her frustration as stemming from rushed appointments that left little time for asking questions. What improvements in system efficiency or changes to compensation models would enable physicians to spend more time providing quality, patient-focused care?