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Dr Ryan Meili

Family physician; Founder of Upstream; Vice Chair, Canadian Doctors for Medicare; Assistant Prof, Community Health, University of Saskatchewan; Expert advisor,


Saskatchewan Political Donation Problem Is A Caution For Canada

The role and influence of money in the political process has long been antagonistic to a fully democratic electoral system. Political parties must raise money from party supporters to maintain an organization, promote various messages and compete in elections, but it matters where that money comes from and how it is raised.
11/23/2016 10:56 EST
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Doctors Are Proving Climate Change Is A Health Risk

Climate change is no longer a suspected diagnosis. It's a health emergency that is already causing systemic damage to the health and well-being of many around the world. Consequences reach beyond borders: climate-related drought and crop failure has been implicated as an exacerbating factor in the conflict in Syria. So what does it mean for Canada?
11/04/2016 07:07 EDT
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Raising Minimum Wage Can Improve Children's Health

Living in crowded, unsafe housing. The inability to afford a diabetic diet. Not filling a necessary prescription. Missing out on opportunities for early childhood learning and higher education. These and many other challenges related to poverty and low wages can result in poor health outcomes for kids now and into their adult lives.
07/19/2016 09:58 EDT
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Canada Needs Policies Ensuring Sick Days For Workers

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.
03/16/2016 10:29 EDT
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Why Saskatchewan Needs To Reject Paid Plasma Donations

A start-up company is looking to establish a new business model in Saskatchewan. In worsening economic times, that might seem like great news. But if their business model is one that takes advantage of people's poverty and may undermine voluntary blood donations, then the prospect is far less appealing. If Canada did need to collect more blood, opening for-profit clinics is not the way to do it.
02/18/2016 03:53 EST

Health Minister Philpott Needs To Attach Strings To Health-Care Dollars

In his letter to the minister, Prime Minister Trudeau tasked Health Minister Philpott with "engaging provinces and territories in the development of a new, multi-year Health Accord with long-term funding agreement." As the health ministers meet in Vancouver, how can they bend the curve toward a less costly and more effective health care system? How can they ensure the funds invested this time around will buy real improvements in health?
01/21/2016 12:04 EST

Upstream Justice: A Look At The Social Causes Of Crime

An interview with Clive Weighill - Saskatoon Police Chief and President of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police: Some politicians talk about getting tough on crime. I'm saying you don't just want to get tough on crime, you have to get tough on the issues of poverty, poor housing, disadvantage. People are products of their environment, and if we can't solve those social issues, we're not going to solve the big picture in the end. I firmly believe that we have to work on poverty.
01/15/2016 03:59 EST
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Is Health Care Finally Becoming the Election Issue it Should Be?

National drug coverage has long been a priority for the more than one in five Canadian households that can't afford to buy needed prescription medicines. But in spite of decades of calls for a new program, the idea seemed not ready for primetime. The cost of national pharmacare was seen to be too great in a time of low political appetite for new universal benefits. But it turns out that pharmacare isn't a money sucker -- it's a money saver.
10/08/2015 06:05 EDT
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Saskatoon's Housing Crisis Is a Health Emergency

Despite a strong economy, Saskatchewan has a deficit in access to safe and affordable housing. The Saskatoon Housing Initiatives Partnership performed a "point-in-time" count of people without a home on a given night and found 405 people. The number from these counts has steadily increased. What's especially disturbing is that 45 of the homeless individuals in this year's count were children. Across Canada, an estimated 235,000 people will experience homelessness in the course of a year, with 35,000 homeless on any given night. Beyond those who are homeless, many Canadians struggle to maintain the housing they have.
10/02/2015 08:34 EDT

Basic Income Is Just What the Doctor Ordered

What makes people sick? Infectious agents like bacteria and viruses and personal factors like smoking, eating poorly and living a sedentary lifestyle. But none of these compares to the way that poverty makes us sick. Prescribing medications and lifestyle changes for our patients who suffer from income deficiency isn't enough; we need to start prescribing healthy incomes. The upstream factors that affect health -- such as income, education, employment, housing, and food security -- have a far greater impact on whether we will be ill or well. Of these, income has the most powerful influence, as it shapes access to the other health determinants.
09/08/2015 12:48 EDT

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

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.
05/30/2015 12:19 EDT