Ontario’s insane three-day COVID-19 roller-coaster ride

Political messages that flip-flopped. Controversial policies announced, modified and removed at a mere snap of the fingers

Ontario’s insane three-day COVID-19 roller-coaster rideSeventy-two hours – 4,320 minutes – three days. Doesn’t sound like an enormous stretch of time. In most cases, it’s not. Yet what Ontario experienced from Friday, April 16, to Sunday, April 18, could easily be described as an insane roller-coaster ride for the ages. Wild highs and lows. Political messages that flip-flopped and flop-flipped. Controversial…

Lockdown hysteria defies COVID-19 reality

Given that infections don’t by a long shot equal hospitalizations, civil libertarians are rightly sounding warning bells

Lockdown hysteria defies COVID-19 realityOn Sept. 18, Israel became the first developed country to launch a second COVID-19 lockdown. It came four months after the first lockdown – instituted in March – ended. How Israeli citizens have reacted to the unsustainable nature of renewed lockdowns is instructive for the Canadian jurisdictions that have increased a rhetoric of fear about…

Putting patients first can save Canada’s health system

Patients First could be an incredible moment for health sector leaders to dramatically reshape how health care is delivered

Putting patients first can save Canada’s health systemOntario is getting older. The number of seniors has been steadily increasing and, over the next 20 years, will double. Including factors like increased use of health services and evolving technology, this will result in a substantial increase in demand across the health system. Those services will cost money. In just the continuing care sector…

Mapping the route to more effective health care

To improve value and spur innovation, we need to change the way we pay for health care by encouraging those providers who experiment and innovate

Mapping the route to more effective health careHealth care costs the public sector about $160 billion a year in Canada, a higher per-capita cost than most industrialized nations. Yet Canadians are not markedly healthier, nor do we receive better care. The Commonwealth Fund has ranked Canada 10th out of 11 developed nations for the efficiency of our health-care system (only the United States…

Starting with kids defensible step toward universal pharmacare

But Ontario budget commitment won’t solve all the problems of drug access in Canada, not even in Ontario

Starting with kids defensible step toward universal pharmacareBy Avram Denburg and Wendy Ungar Hospital for Sick Children The Ontario government’s decision to invest in universal drug coverage for those under 25 is a long-needed policy commitment that will help ensure the health of our next generation. As a pediatric oncologist, Dr. Denburg sees children every day who struggle to gain access to the medicines they…

Sustainable pharmacare requires a business-like approach

Out of control spending on Ontario's drug plan could undermine efforts to provide coverage across Canada

Sustainable pharmacare requires a business-like approachOntario’s proposed pharmacare plan for those aged 25 and under is a welcome start that hopefully leads to universal drug coverage for all Ontarians. The case for universal coverage is overwhelming. It’s scandalous that in 2017, many Canadians die for lack of affordable access to basic drugs like insulin.  Increasingly, even those of us with private health insurance coverage face…

Ontario traps those with disabilities in lives of poverty

Restrictions on assets and gifts keep many in a state of deep and profound uncertainty and crisis, but other provinces have found a way out

Ontario traps those with disabilities in lives of povertyBy Helen Ries with Jihan Abbas Contributors In August 2016, Ontario's ombudsman released Nowhere to Turn, which outlined multiple systemic failures in provincial supports and services that lead to crisis for many adults with developmental disabilities. The stories illustrated in the report are often heart-breaking and speak to the many ways that the system leaves people with disabilities vulnerable and trapped…

Private dental care fails millions in Ontario

Every three minutes someone visits an Ontario doctor for oral health issues. But physicians aren’t trained or equipped to provide appropriate treatment

Private dental care fails millions in OntarioBy Jacquie Maund Alliance for Healthier Communities and Hazel Stewart Toronto Public Health April is oral health month in Canada. Ads remind us to book an appointment with our dentist for a regular dental exam and to get our teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist. But in Canada’s private dental-care system, you have to pay for…

One in six Ontarians left behind in health-care reforms

Urban poor and new immigrants are less likely to be part of a family health group – and less likely to get high-quality care

One in six Ontarians left behind in health-care reformsPrimary care is the front door to our health system. Whether you’re going for a checkup or have just been diagnosed with cancer, your family doctor makes sure you get the tests, treatment and care you need. But not all family practices in Ontario are created equal. Over the last decade and a half in…

Forging a new deal for doctors requires a new approach

Should we move to a system like that in the U.K., where physicians are paid a salary and work to terms of a contract?

Forging a new deal for doctors requires a new approachOntario’s Health Minister Erik Hoskins is a brave man. He has attempted to wrestle a new agreement with Ontario doctors and to drive down outrageous billing – with some 500 doctors billing more than one million dollars a year. Hoskins wanted to redistribute these health dollars for improved physician care. The plan was to engage…