By Lauren Vogel | CMAJ | Aug.26, 2016
- More federal investment won’t fix Canada’s health system, said Health Minister Dr. Jane Philpott in an address to the Canadian Medical Association General Council in Vancouver. She argued that Canada should follow the model of Britain and Australia, which achieve better health outcomes at lower cost by providing more care outside hospitals.
- Provincial health ministers were frustrated that the federal government won’t promise additional funding under a new health accord. “To me, it seems, we are facing a tactic from a federal government to postpone everything,” said Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette. Newfoundland and Labrador Health Minister Dr. John Haggie said the government has also been vague about how it will spend a promised $3-billion funding envelope for home care. “Exactly what is in it has varied depending on the conversation we’ve had.”
- Health Canada gave two isolated Nishnawbe Aski Nation communities only 48-hours’ notice of a temporary closure of two nursing stations. Although the government later arranged to keep the stations open, Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler said the unreliable supply of nurses to remote communities is “intolerable.”
- Alberta has the best paid physician workforce in Canada, with an average gross income of $365 765 in 2015, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information. Ontario physicians, who were the top earners for the previous seven years, fell to third place ($363 841) after Saskatchewan doctors ($365 097).
- Manitoba’s government came under fire for failing to report new Zika cases. The Winnipeg Free Press learned that there have been five Zika cases confirmed in the province, and at least two since April were not reported on the government’s website.
- Ontario Health Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins said the province would be open to using binding arbitration to resolve its ongoing contract dispute with doctors if the Ontario Medical Association reforms as a public-sector union and discloses physician salaries. Doctors recently voted down a tentative deal between the association and the province which would have raised the physician services budget to $12.9 billion by 2020.
- A Public Health Ontario survey showed that kids were more likely to meet physical activity guidelines if their parents joined in activities with them. Children were also were more likely to meet health eating guidelines if their family ate meals together away from the television.
- Quebec will invest $8.1 million to expand access to home care to an extra 5 400 people in the province. Health Minister Gaétan Barrette said the money will also be used to increase the time devoted to the 90 000 people already receiving the service. “Someone who has two hours a week, that person will have three hours,” he said.
- New Brunswick will provide $4 million in financial assistance to a proposed medical marijuana facility. The company is expected to contribute up to $15 million each year to the provincial economy, if approved by Health Canada.
- The Yukon government missed the first deadline of its new mental health strategy. The Department of Health and Social Services was supposed to develop an action plan by July, but now says the plan will be ready in November.
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