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The past two years have seen a significant deterioration in the relationship between Ontario's physicians, and the Liberal government of Premier Kathleen Wynne and her health minister, Eric Hoskins. Rather than just protest, Health City's plan is to bring awareness of the health care crisis to the general public, and also educate them as to what they can do to fight for proper health care services in Ontario.
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It's been reported that Canada spends the fourth most per capita on health care of all of the industrialized countries in the world. Yet, despite all that money being spent, Canada's health-care system currently ranks 30th in the world, according to the World Health Organization and last amongst all OECD countries in terms of wait times.
The healthcare system is broken, leaving doctors craving healthcare reform. Ontario funds an inadequate number of medical services for an inordinate number of patients. This mismatch creates a bottleneck in which care is triaged and/or rationed: the sickest are served while the rest wait.
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Although clearly a critical factor, pointing students in the right direction is only half the battle. The other half must be improving collaboration between government and industry to develop tangible solutions to strengthen the future workforce. As far as we're concerned, that time is now.
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Vaccines help protect our kids against several communicable diseases, many of which are life-threatening to our little people. Babies under two are especially at risk of many serious childhood illnesses that are completely preventable through immunization, so why are people not immunizing their kids? Because of fear.
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The premier said that the new tax on home heating fuels and gasoline is necessary because Ontarians are "very bad actors in terms of our per capita emissions." That's right, the new tax on keeping your family warm in the winter and on your daily commute to work is because Ontarians are "bad actors."
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In this contentious environment, a bit of calm, practical thinking has been welcome in the profession. Since last week, hundreds of physicians have gone online at aWayForward.ca to urge doctors and the government to move ahead using five practical principles as a core of the discussion.
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Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has now acknowledged that there's an issue with water takings by bottled water companies, and she's vowed to fix the problem. Change couldn't come soon enough. If she's serious about fixing the water bottling system, here's what Ontario needs to do.
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As Eric Hoskins knows very well, infrastructure itself doesn't have much value. What has a lot of value is patient data. This type of data is a treasure trove for private businesses and would be worth a lot of money to them. Just look at how Facebook has been able to monetize the personal information it has stored on all its "friends."
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Ontario, Canada, is one of the best places in the world to watch the green maple, oak and birch leaves of summer turn orange, crimson, and gold before falling in time for winter. And nothing makes an Ontario leaf peeping trip more complete than using one of the province's quaintest small towns as your home-base.
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We simply do not have enough to give everyone the care they need right when they need it. In an ideal world, we would. That is the definition of timely, universal health care. But in real-world Ontario, we are forced to triage patients and ration health care. Too many people, too few publicly-funded resources.
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For the first time in 15 years, I was able to stop fearing what people thought of me. More importantly, I don't feel self-conscious at all, mostly thanks to the fact you wouldn't be able to tell I am living with psoriasis unless you looked closely to see the blemishes left on my skin.
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In 1993, a single person on social assistance would receive $962 in today's dollars. The poverty gap (the difference between total income and the low-income measure) was 20 per cent. Today, that single person on Ontario Works (OW) only receives $681 and experiences a poverty gap of a startling 59 per cent.
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For six years the Ministry of Health has known that ePrescribe has, at little cost, saved lives and improved patient care. Sadly, it is but one of the many examples of the incredible waste and mismanagement of the health care system. Small dedicated investments are avoided, in order to create bigger projects such as the current medication management system, that cost exponentially more, but more importantly, provide jobs for bureaucrats. The fact that patients won't be helped is not relevant.
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Hunger Awareness Week invites us to not only talk about the problem of hunger in Canada, but to think about how we can address it. At the Ontario Association of Food Banks, our long-term vision has always been a hunger-free Ontario. Next summer, this dream may inch a little closer to becoming a reality.
As the flame was extinguished at yesterday evening's closing ceremonies of the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, I reflected on Paralympians and Olympians. Some of the most powerful words in the English language came to mind: inspiration and spirit, dedication and sacrifice, pride.
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The reason I care what my provincial government does is simple: health care in Ontario is in a downward spiral -- I see it everywhere, even in my small town family medicine practice. At this point, the government must step up and stabilize the situation. I've been in independent practice for seven years. In that short time, I have watched resources dwindle.
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Without an ounce of self-awareness, the party that for over a decade has bungled Ontario's electricity policy, resulting in the fastest growing rates in North America, is petitioning itself against the high rates for which they are responsible.
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Gather up the guys for a monumental boys-only excursion this weekend. Leave the kids and the significant others behind -- this trip is all about you and your friends. But where should you go? You nee...
When you consider all of the places you might visit in North America this fall, you have to wonder if anywhere beats Toronto. September in Canada's largest city is always known for the excitement of the Toronto International Film Festival. This year, TIFF runs from September 8-18 and will be followed by another elite event, the World Cup of Hockey.
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Many of the promises -- increased productivity, more jobs, more money in our pockets -- have simply not come true. This is ironic because, as free trade agreements become toxic all over the world, Canada, a country bound by a long-standing trade deal, has not had a comprehensive debate on the proposed CETA (trans-Atlantic) or TPP (trans-Pacific) agreements.
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In 2017, the Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB) will turn 25 years old. We are deeply proud of the role our network has played over the past quarter century to support communities across Ontario. Food banks have grown from being a resource for emergency food support to multi-service centres that offer innovative programs to help clients move beyond hard times.
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This Labour Day over twenty-five thousand union members will march on the streets of Toronto with the Labour Council to celebrate the achievements of the labour movement. It is the largest parade on Labour Day in North America -- a testament to the determination of workers to mark our place in Canada's largest urban centre.
We hope the failure of negotiations in Ontario spurs a complete rethink of this approach. Maybe what we want to do is limit a la carte billing for doctor services in the first place, and have far clearer contractual directives against cost-ineffective treatments and towards quality, safe and high-value care.
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Canada's tree-covered wilderness and cool fall temperatures create some of the world's most vibrant fall foliage. The autumn colours are more intense in the Great White North's eastern provinces, and the most populated, east-central province of Ontario is one of the best for viewing them in jaw-dropping settings.
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A First Nations police force, the Nishnawbe Aski Police Service (NAPS), who serves and protects 35 northern Ontario communities is voting to strike because they do not have access to the basics that law enforcement should have and it is putting officers in high-risk "nightmarish" situations.
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It was another tumultuous week in Ontario, as the province's seemingly never-ending battle with its physicians continued. The grand Hoskins scheme now seems to be to sow discord amongst physicians so they fight amongst themselves. He knows that if physicians unite against Bill 210, as they did against the tPSA, he will never be able to succeed in implementing his plans.
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Just imagine how up in arms the public would be if police forces had to fundraise to maintain the safety equipment, training and staff coverage that they need to make sure our communities are safe. Inadequate funding means that enforcement officers are taking unnecessary risks to their personal safety on the job.
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The General Meeting was the result of extremely tenacious activism on the part of the Concerned Ontario Doctors (COD) group, co-led by Dr. Nadia Alam and Dr. Kulvinder Gill. However, the OMA corporation, couldn't hold off the relatively sparsely funded COD, and in an epic piece of medical history, could barely garner 37 per cent of the vote of the membership in favour of their proposed agreement.
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As a disabled person, navigating Toronto is stressful and dangerous -- not just because of potholes and construction-brutalized sidewalks, but because of transit. And people. Especially people operating or riding transit. This is largely due to the absence of inclusion of pedestrians in the Ministry of Transportation's Accessibility Permit Program, currently only issued for drivers/passengers of cars, which leaves the rest of us vulnerable to harassment and injury.
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Looking at the food system in Canada is a study in contrasts. On one hand, one in eight Canadian families struggle to put food on the table, and over 800,000 people visit a food bank each month. On the other hand, we waste $31 billion in food each year, or a third of what we produce. How can a country with so much abundance also have such great need? As with any problem that is so enormous in scale, the reasons are complex, the impacts are wide-ranging, and the solutions are far from easy.
Merits and failings of the contract aside, many wonder about the aftermath of this vote. Ratify the contract and what -- ration care and pinch pennies? Reject the contract and what -- face a vengeful government's unilateral cuts? The uncertainty inherent in the contract is mirrored by the uncertainty of the unilateral actions that we have weathered for the past 18 months.