With day-to-day demands, it's not surprising many of us forget to take a pill or put off refilling a prescription by a week or two. In other cases people stop taking their medication because they think it has done its job or is causing unpleasant side effects. I see this in my practice often, it's incredibly common but people often don't realize that these decisions could, in some cases, lead to serious complications.
The field of medicine is one of the most sought after professions in this country, with admission rates around 26 - 28% of domestic applicants in a given year gaining acceptance to a Canadian medical school. Given such a low admissions rate, there are far fewer positions than qualified applicants. How, then, should we choose those who are admitted to medical school?
Our teeth and gums are part of our body, and poor oral health affects our overall health and well-being. Primary mouth care is not covered under OHIP, and hospitals are not equipped to deliver dental care. Ontario only has public dental programs for low income children under 18, and a patchwork of basic services for people receiving social assistance.
Critics have begun pointing the finger at the medical system and its prescribers -- well-meaning doctors and specialists who've been giving too many patients excessively powerful opioid medications to deal with modest pain. But we can dig deeper and look at the relationship between medical education and pharmaceutical company influence as a significant contributing factor.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.