Canadian Students Call for a Response to the Refugee Crisis

Claudel Petrin-Desrosiers | Posted 10.02.2015 | Canada Impact
Claudel Petrin-Desrosiers

In response to the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, our current Canadian government has reluctantly offered some support. We shall, according to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, accept 10,000 refugees over the next three years. As medical students committed to global health, we call into question this lukewarm commitment to such a pressing crisis and call for stronger commitments in line with Canada's values.

Does Breast Cancer Have a Connection to Cows?

Jason Tetro | Posted 09.21.2015 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

Cancer is the number one killer in this country. In women, breast cancer is the second leading cause of this potentially deadly disease. Researchers across the country and around the world are working tirelessly not only to find a cure but also to find the cause. When it comes to how exactly breast cancer is triggered, the answer is elusive.

How Microbes Could Give You a Heart Attack

Jason Tetro | Posted 09.15.2015 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

Twenty years ago, heart disease was the number one killer of Canadians. That number has dropped over the years thanks in part to research examining the causes of heart attacks and recommendations for better preventative behaviours. Despite this drop, there is still much to be learned about how heart attacks happen. One of the most studied causes is the atherosclerotic lesion, better known as plaque. This accumulation of cells, fats, minerals, and other organic material tend to accumulate in the arteries as we age. If buildup happens to occur in the coronary artery, cardiac arrest may inevitably happen.

Now Is the Time for Canada to Catch Up on Drug Safety for Children

Terry P. Klassen | Posted 09.15.2015 | Canada Politics
Terry P. Klassen

What the report, Improving Medicines for Children in Canada confirmed was what pediatricians in the field already know -- that much of the medications given to children in Canada have never been adequately studied or even formally approved for the conditions they are commonly prescribed to treat.

Cancer Patient Receives 3D-Printed Rib Cage For First Time Ever

The Huffington Post Canada | Evan Pang | Posted 09.14.2015 | Canada Living

"We were able to create a body part that was fully customised and fitted like a glove," Dr. José Aranda said in a press release.

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.

What Personalizing Health Care Might Mean for You

Russell Williams | Posted 08.16.2015 | Canada Living
Russell Williams

The acceleration of research and development of sophisticated biologic medicines and vaccines to more effectively prevent and treat disease has given rise to a form of healthcare known as personalized medicine.

Canada Takes Long to Approve New Drugs - and That's Good

Alan Cassels | Posted 07.23.2015 | Canada Politics
Alan Cassels

Provinces are clearly voting with their budgets, going slow and low on approvals and coverage of new therapies. Canada is not wrong to be prudent in taking our time to decide how, or if, a new drug needs to be covered -- a precautionary approach is just the smart way to go.

This Is the Way to Beat AIDS

Dr. Julio Montaner | Posted 07.23.2015 | Canada Impact
Dr. Julio Montaner

Treatment as prevention and it's related 90-90-90 target are the unequivocal, evidence-based path to ending the AIDS pandemic, the biggest health challenge of the last generation. As we close the 2015 IAS AIDS Conference in Vancouver, we call on the leaders of the world to join us to end the AIDS pandemic. The scientific evidence is all in, the UN 90-90-90 target is the only way forward. There is nowhere to hide. You are either with us or against us! We demand you deliver on the promise of an AIDS-free generation by fully embracing and funding the UN 90-90-90 target, domestically and internationally.

We Need to Curb Our Use of Antibiotics

Brian W. Rotenberg | Posted 07.19.2015 | Canada Living
Brian W. Rotenberg

The overwhelming majority of these incredibly common infections are caused by viruses -- that is, they will not respond to antibiotics -- so I don't routinely offer antibiotic treatments. When patients hear they won't be getting an antibiotic many become surprised and often upset. I then spend time counselling them about why antibiotics are, in most cases, the wrong treatment choice.

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?

How the way We Fight Cancer Is Changing

Dr. James Aw | Posted 06.25.2015 | Canada Living
Dr. James Aw

Oncology, or the branch of medicine that deals with tumours and cancer, is leading the profession's charge toward precision medicine -- a new approach that places the focus on the individual patient and all the ways that patient is unique.

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.

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.

At the Heart of Medicine: An Interview With CMA President Chris Simpson

Dr Ryan Meili | Posted 05.30.2015 | Canada
Dr Ryan Meili

Recently, I was fortunate to attend the Global Symposium on the Role of Physicians and National Medical Associations in Addressing Health Equity and the Social Determinants of Health held in London, England. I sat down with Dr. Simpson to explore the stories, the evidence and the politics that come into play when doctors are actors for social change.

Canadians Should Not Shoulder Prescription Drug Costs

Steve Morgan | Posted 05.22.2015 | Canada Politics
Steve Morgan

Cities have to spend this money, taken from local taxpayers, because Canada's medicare system is the only universal, public health care system among developed countries that does not include universal coverage of prescription drugs. It is not wrong for cities to care for their employees. But leaving these costs to the cities makes about as much sense as requiring every homeowner to maintain the roads and infrastructure surrounding their property. Here's why.

How to Reduce Wait Times in Canadian Health Care

Robert McMurtry | Posted 05.16.2015 | Canada Politics
Robert  McMurtry

Wait times have long been a source of concern for Canadians, and in some jurisdictions, remain a significant problem. Recently the Canadian Institutes of Health Information (CIHI) released their report for 2015. There is both encouraging news and areas in need of attention.

It Is Possible to Counteract (Some) Drug Allergies

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre | Posted 05.13.2015 | Canada Living
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Desensitization, which involves gradual reintroduction of a drug, starting with very small doses, makes it possible for some people to take a medication that would normally trigger an allergic reaction. The procedure, of course, must be done under direct supervision of a health-care professional in case you develop a severe reaction.

Criminalizing Abortion Will Only Make It Unsafe

Isabelle Côté | Posted 05.13.2015 | Canada Living
Isabelle Côté

Let's remind ourselves that inaccessible abortion services do not eliminate abortions. The choice, or even necessity to terminate a pregnancy is a reality. Criminalizing abortion can lead to unsafe and potentially life-threatening options for many women in disadvantaged situations.

Why This U.S. Doctor Is Moving to Canada

Emily S. Queenan | Posted 05.05.2015 | Canada Business
Emily S. Queenan

I had a vision of cultivating a practice where patients felt heard and cared for, and where I could provide full-spectrum family medicine care, including obstetrical care. My practice embraced the principles of patient-centered collaborative care. It employed the latest in 21st-century technology. I loved my work and my patients. But after five years of constant fighting with multiple private insurance companies in order to get paid, I ultimately made the heart-wrenching decision to close my practice down. The emotional stress was too great.

Learn to Be Savvy and Detect Bogus Health News

University of Toronto News | Posted 06.27.2015 | Canada Living
University of Toronto News

Today it seems that we're bombarded with news about some great new medical hope or fear of the moment, and I worry that we are all suffering from health-information overload. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps we can take when reading medical news that will help us to put it all in perspective.

How a B. C. Court Case May Threaten Canadian Healthcare

Colleen M. Flood | Posted 06.24.2015 | Canada Politics
Colleen M. Flood

A case emerged in response to an audit of Cambie Surgeries, a private for-profit corporation by the B.C. Medical Services Commission. The audit found from a sample of Cambie's billing that it (and another private clinic) had charged patients hundreds of thousands of dollars more for health services covered by medicare than is permitted by law. Dr. Day and Cambie Surgeries claim that the law preventing a doctor charging patients more is unconstitutional.

Universal Canadian Drug Coverage Is Good for Business

Steve Morgan | Posted 06.23.2015 | Canada Business
Steve Morgan

Businesses care about the health and well-being of the Canadian workforce. Employees that can afford the medicines as and when prescribed will be healthier, happier, and more productive. In this election year, it is time for Canada's business leaders to call for universal, public pharmacare.