The virtue of a single-payer system affords us some of the richest health data in the world, but the way we actually use data to help with health care decisions or drive our own performance is wanting. As a patient, it is incredibly trying at times to listen to the tune of "patient-centred care," only to hear that such health care data would be over our heads in the same breath.
Andrew S. Boozary is a resident physician in Toronto, Ontario and the founding editor of the Harvard Public Health Review in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Are we doing enough about an illness that is silently eating away at both a mother and daughter? Twenty years ago, People Magazine headlined one of their covers with, "Princess Di: Struggle with Bulimia Brings a Puzzling Disease Out of the Shadows." Eating disorders still remain a private battle for millions of young women, and the faces of those affected are changing. We'd be downright wrong to frame it as a "rich, white girl's disease." How do you capture the cost of subjecting millions of women to calorie counting or religious scale stepping?
12/23/2013 05:34 EST
The sciences continue to offer boundless promise for the profession and the sick. It's the humanities that will beg how we get there. In medicine, we are certainly privileged with "front row-seats on life" -- the worry is being glued to an iPhone amidst all that meaning.
10/14/2013 10:54 EDT
Just last week, a new report from Statistics Canada underscored the importance of money on health. The authors bleakly noted that Canadians in the bottom rung of the income ladder were "more likely to die younger." Quite a lot younger.
07/24/2013 05:09 EDT
Presented with the opportunity to pick from any of the health systems the world has to offer, who in the right mind would choose Canada's single-payer model after reading their post? Turns out a country did have the opportunity the choose. That country was Taiwan.
05/23/2013 05:35 EDT
The death toll from the collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh now stands at over 350 people. In a wonderfully sensitive essay, Jian Ghomeshi raised the question of proximity when it came to our response to human tragedies. Distance may have become arbitrary, but how we draw the lines to connect our dots to one another has not. We can easily grieve, and most rightfully so, with the victims of Boston because we can all picture ourselves there. A feeling of complete and utter vulnerability. But when it's market forces or the lack of regulations that inflict terror, how are we to feel?
04/28/2013 11:21 EDT
The idea that social injustice can drive a health gradient is becoming a bigger facet of medical education in Canada. How are we trained to embrace the culpability of mental illness? Are we relying too much on a neuronal pathway, genetic cause or even a drug to legitimize disease?
02/12/2013 08:25 EST
This past week, a small family-owned medical facility just outside Toronto, the Shouldice Hospital, catapulted to the centre of the public-private debate in Canadian health care. Centric Health -- a publicly traded company under American control -- has placed a bid to acquire Shouldice for over 14-million dollars. Frustration with our current health system and the visceral reaction to contract it out is understandable. But for-profit hospital and provider arrangements are accountable first to their shareholders, second to patients and taxpayers.
09/26/2012 12:16 EDT
The Canadian Medical Association's 145th annual meeting is taking place this week. The mantra of the meeting is health equity, and Sir Michael Marmot, the white knight of social determinants, undoubtedly provides the human and scholarly element the issue of inequality deserves. There may be no better person to articulate Canada's barriers to better health outcomes.
08/13/2012 12:40 EDT
Woody Allen once said that basketball transports us to a primitive place for higher learning. The loose arrangement of strangers balling on public pavement illustrates many of the ivory tower's arguments surrounding health insurance. We can try breaking it down like this...
07/30/2012 05:45 EDT
The Harper government may choose to believe that a divided society is not bad for the economy, or that wealth will trickle down. Canadians from across the country may have to assure him that health will surely not. Canada has fared better than other nations in the global economic crisis, but success stories have not followed those who prescribed austerity.
07/19/2012 07:51 EDT
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