Community-based programs can help reduce male suicide

In Canada, men account for three out of every four suicides – with seven men dying by suicide every day – but our support programs fall short

Community-based programs can help reduce male suicideBy John Oliffe and Britney Dennison Men’s Health Research University of British Columbia Jason was in Grade 5 when he started having feelings for other boys. Because of those feelings, he was called names, beaten up in school and sexually assaulted. Since high school, Jason has been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder and post-traumatic…

Bill C-75 reforms too little, too late to respond to domestic violence 

Canada needs a national agency to review all domestic homicides and create an integrated domestic violence safety system

Bill C-75 reforms too little, too late to respond to domestic violence By Elizabeth Sheehy University of Ottawa and Isabel Grant University of British Columbia Domestic violence is a national crisis. A woman is killed by her current or former partner every six days in Canada. Indigenous women are killed by their intimate partners at a rate eight times higher. In Peel (part of the Greater Toronto…

The diet you’re on is likely a pretty good one

As long as you don't eat carbohydrates, fats and protein to extreme levels, you should be just fine

The diet you’re on is likely a pretty good oneA plethora of ‘experts’ have provided nutritional advice that sounds definitive and evidence-based. Many of us have lived through vast recommendations: low fat, high fat; salt is a problem, salt is no problem; eggs are good, eggs are bad; butter is very bad, margarine is good, then butter is good again; high carbs, no carbs…

NAFTA renegotiations threaten Canada’s steps toward pharmacare

Canada must both defend the existing public health-care system as well protect its aspirations to creating a better one

NAFTA renegotiations threaten Canada’s steps toward pharmacareBy Ruth Lopert George Washington University and Steve Morgan University of British Columbia A “modernized NAFTA” has significant implications for many sectors of the economy, including health care. What’s at stake? Canadians’ right to universal access to affordable medicines. When negotiating with the U.S. and Mexico, Canadian trade and health officials would be well advised to…

Why Canada needs universal pharmacare and how to make it happen

Prescription drug coverage for all would save lives, save billions of dollars, help businesses – and make our incomplete health system whole

Why Canada needs universal pharmacare and how to make it happenOntario plans to provide a publicly-funded pharmacare system for children and youth in Ontario. It’s a small step in the right direction and, arguably, most important for its symbolism in a national debate. Why just a small step? Because Ontario’s recently-announced plan will provide universal, comprehensive prescription medication coverage to the age group that uses medicines least often.…

Don’t let seniors’ care in Canada become a private equity money maker

The pressure to make a profit in seniors homes often leads to cost-cutting measures such as reduced staffing that undermine the quality of care

Don’t let seniors’ care in Canada become a private equity money makerBy Margaret McGregor and Lisa Ronald University of British Columbia Late last year, the large trans-national insurance company Anbang announced its intention to purchase a majority interest in Retirement Concepts, a Canadian for-profit nursing home chain. Retirement Concepts receives funding from a number of provincial governments to provide nursing home care, and is the highest billing provider of assisted-living…

Opioid use crisis shows urgent need for pain treatment options

Our response to the crisis must be broadened to address the aspects of our health-care system that contribute to the increasing demand for opioids

Opioid use crisis shows urgent need for pain treatment optionsBy Kate Smolina and Kim Rutherford University of British Columbia The tragic spike in opioid-related deaths has brought the large and complex issue of drug use and misuse into sharp focus. As fentanyl-related overdoses grip the country, there is a connected but separate crisis of doctor-prescribed opioids being increasingly used on a regular, long-term basis.  While prescription…

British Columbia’s failed primary care experiment

Paying doctors more did not improve primary care – and cost the province hundreds of millions of dollars

British Columbia’s failed primary care experimentBy Ruth Lavergne Simon Fraser University and Kimberlyn McGrail University of British Columbia If things are working properly, our first point of contact with the health system – often referred to as ‘primary care’ – should result in prompt and efficient care for our general health concerns, and coordinate our journey through the system when…

Health Minister must reinstate funding for Cochrane Canada

Funding was terminated for Cochrane Canada, part of the key global health care resource Cochrane Collaboration, in September

Health Minister must reinstate funding for Cochrane CanadaBy Tom Perry University of British Columbia and Alan Cassels University of Victoria Imagine you’re Justin Trudeau. You’re flush with energy and idealism in a country where “better is always possible.” But the priorities you face as Canada's new prime minister are many. Now imagine you’re Canada’s new minister of health. Trudeau hands you a…

BC’s billion dollar healthcare boondoggle

The province Increased incentives payments to doctors to try to improve patients' access to care. It didn't work

BC’s billion dollar healthcare boondoggleBy Ruth Lavergne and Kim McGrail University of British Columbia Since 2006, British Columbia has spent more than a billion dollars to improve primary healthcare. Have B.C. patients benefited from such a massive investment? Sadly, no. Good primary care – access to doctors and nurses for general health concerns – means we can quickly and…