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Mandatory minimum sentences for possessing drugs for personal use do not make Canadians safer. They will not improve the health of our economy, the safety of our streets, or the well-being of communities throughout Canada. The inevitable overcrowding of Canadian prisons will not only increase tension and conflict in prisons, but also cost taxpayers billions of dollars.
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Thanksgiving marks the arrival of another regular occurrence though most of us do not discuss at this time. It's the impending arrival of the flu. We all know the influenza virus is coming but at this time of joyous celebration, we tend to avoid this topic. The flu season doesn't usually start until November and usually doesn't make headlines until the Holiday Season.
It's unfair to assume that the ad is suggesting that a public listing of your bedpost roster is necessary for safe sexual health. That's not the case. All it seems to imply is that you should simply be real about sexuality in this modern age -- you're probably not Christopher Columbus landing upon virgin banks.
As a medical student taking part in a Social Paediatrics course at The Hospital for Sick Children, I was recently immersed in the lives and healthcare needs of low-income families in Toronto. This experience reshaped the lens through which I now view healthcare and helped me recognize that societal factors greatly influence the emotional and physical wellbeing of children and their families.
One of the most popular topics on the 2015 elections agenda is legalization and cannabis is by far the most widely used illegal drug in the Canada. People often compare a potential legalization model to alcohol. The way alcohol is regulated in Canada provides some really important public health benefits.
The opponents of the new curriculum don't realize that masturbation was included in the old curriculum too. They are trying to close a barn door that was open long ago. What we used to say in puberty classes was that masturbation can't hurt you. It's a human thing to do.
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Now that the flu season is coming to an end in Canada, many public health officials will be taking a look back to reflect on the year to see what went right and what went wrong. Upon closer inspection of the details, the problems deal more with unforeseen circumstances than error.
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With each new outbreak, measles gains more ground for a permanent return. The virus becomes present year-round and causes seasonal infection like the cold and the flu. Every January to April dozens if not hundreds of people will become infected leaving public health officials with little option than to accept the future is a return to a dark past.
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Last week, Canadian public health officials announced the arrival of yet another potentially deadly virus on our soil. This time, the culprit was a form of influenza -- avian influenza to be exact -- known as H7N9. This marked the second time in a year a deadly influenza virus had traveled from the Far East to Canada.
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2014 may have been the year of the nipple (#FreeTheNipple), but 2015 is definitely the year of the bush (#PubeGame). Pubic hair is so popular right now, it's vogue. From mild to moderate tuffs, harbouring tiny strands of love in between your legs has been all the rage so far this year and it has no intention of slowing down.
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While policy should be evidence-informed rather than belief-based, the complexity of health-system change makes it difficult to draw a straight line from one evidence-based improvement to health-system change as a whole. Improving the quality and quantity of evidence-based decision-making is perhaps the greatest challenge in systematically devising policies for bending the cost curve.
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A closer inspection of the bacterial species revealed only few pathogenic species. Of those, most were unable to survive over long periods of time. There was little to no risk for infection. As to the majority of bacteria found, they were common, and harmless, fecal and skin bacteria. Even high frequency use of a toilet could not develop pathogens in high enough levels to cause infection.
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December is now in full swing as are all the activities related to the holiday season. From shopping, to parties, to those getaways to escape the cold, Canadians are moving and mingling. Sadly, this time also marks an upwards shift in the number of respiratory infections.
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It was just 11 years ago when the World Health Organization slapped Toronto with a travel advisory, costing the city $2 billion and 28,000 jobs. This was not because of the number of SARS cases (similar in number to Singapore, which had no such advisory) but because Ottawa did not have a public health leader who could effectively coordinate with the provinces and communicate the outbreak's status to other countries.
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The evidence for the link between factors determined by social policy and health outcomes is crystal clear. Decades of studies have demonstrated that income and its distribution, education, employment, housing, food security and the wider environment have far greater impact than health care in influencing our health.
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Providing effective communication is critical to ensuring health care workers feel informed and safe at work. Nursing union representatives have clearly expressed that nurses do not feel prepared for Ebola in their hospitals. Media stories have documented how personal protective equipment and training for front line health workers hasn't been available in all hospital locations across the country.
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Canada should and could have a role, working through the World Health Organization, to create such basic systems, through international aid. But, it must also look internally to the failure of our own health system to serve the needs of our Northern peoples where TB is highest (234 cases per 100,000) primarily because of inadequate housing and overcrowding.
Along with failing to increase affordability and access, private MRIs pose a more insidious threat to publicly-funded health care. The more Canadians believe that they have to pay out of their own pocket for necessary care, the more we will see confidence in and commitment to medicare eroded. We need strategies to improve access to diagnostic technologies that strengthen medicare rather than undermining it.
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Optimism resides in Nigeria, despite the potential horrors of Ebola's global spread. Why so? As of September 23, the Centers for Disease Control has 21 confirmed cases with eight deaths in Nigeria from Ebola. That number is low. This is, in part, because childhood education is essential to the rising Nigerian economy.
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.
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The death of comedian Robin Williams last month sparked a worldwide discussion about suicide, its underlying causes and how it might be prevented. And, with World Suicide Prevention Day taking place Sept. 10, the subject is certain to generate more debate as people seek to understand this important health issue. Having spent 10 years researching the subject while working as a professor of psychiatry, I believe there are things we can do as a community to tackle this problem. With that in mind, I thought it might be helpful to reflect on what researchers have learned over the years about strategies for preventing suicide.
We now have greatly expanded infection control resources and expertise to help hospitals control disease outbreaks. We have a valuable and close working partnership with the Public Health Agency of Canada. And finally, there are programs in place to respond to emergency situations, as well as stockpiles of emergency supplies, equipment and antiviral medications.
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The declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern over Ebola is one of the world's most important actions although people may choose to see it differently; the situation requiring its call may lead to fear and panic. But, the only reaction should be resilience.
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When it comes to the introduction of foreign deadly diseases, Canada need not worry. Due to the experience of one unexpected surprise, the SARS outbreak of 2003, and the resultant Commission that followed, Canada went from being unprepared to ready for anything.
The latest Commonwealth Study ranked Canada's health care system a dismal second to last in a list of eleven major industrialized countries. It is true that Canada's health system is fragmented and uncoordinated. Too often people fall through the cracks and we are miserable at managing patients with multiple illnesses. And too often our system feels unresponsive to the concerns of patients and their families.
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While some are horrified by the overtly sexual movies and TV shows consumed by today's youth, a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health has a slightly different stance. Shira Taylor, a doctoral candidate at the School's Division of Social and Behavioural Health Sciences, is taking to the stage to educate young adults about sex.
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Knowing the source of the virus, the team sent out an advisory to the general public concerning the risk of consuming the berries and hoped they would not be dealing with a large-scale problem. Thankfully, only a few more cases appeared; they too had come into contact with the contaminated culprit.
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Otters have a link to humans. They can help us identify public health problems related to pollution and infections. Though they live a different lifestyle than us, their mammalian nature allows the opportunity to study what could happen to us as our world changes.
We wait until newborns are two months old before giving them their first shots. Some people have underlying medical conditions that prevent them from getting vaccinated. And in rare instances a vaccination just might not be effective in any given individual. So those of us who can vaccinate our children really should.
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The results suggested bacteria are continually in communication with one another. When times get dire, they attempt to find anyone who might have resistance and be willing to pass it on. Once there is a yes, a crowd appears, all hoping for the same gift. Once they get it, they head off to do the same.
More types of plants -- pine isn't universal -- should be tested for their effectiveness and a list of potential water filtration trees to be sought out and cultivated should be formed. If that comes to pass, then a new boom of tree planting may begin.