By Lauren Vogel | CMAJ | Sept. 30, 2016

  • Provincial health ministers decried the federal government’s plan to limit the annual increase in health care funding to provinces and territories to 3%, half the 6% escalator provided under the last health accord. British Columbia Health Minister Terry Lake said slowing growth of health funding would put his province under enormous financial pressure; Quebec Health Minister Dr. Gaétan Barrette said the federal government would have to double funding before the province will buy into any conditions of a new accord.
  • A tribunal ordered the reinstatement of a Health Canada whistleblower and voided a 20-day suspension imposed on another, more than a decade after they were fired for alleged insubordination. Margaret Haydon and Shiv Chopra were dismissed in June 2004 after stating concerns about gaps in Canada’s drug approval process.
  • The federal government will introduce legislation this fall to regulate e-cigarettes and will renew its tobacco-control strategy for one year while developing a new long-term plan. “We’ve seen recent reports that young people are increasingly using vaping products, particularly some of the flavoured vaping products,” said Federal Health Minister Dr. Jane Philpott.
  • Injuries among long-term care workers are declining in BC, but the job is still one of the most dangerous in the province. There were 8.9 time-loss claims per 100 long-term care workers in 2015, down from 9.7 in 2012, but still more than four times the average for all workers.
  • Albert Health Services reported higher than expected demand for medical aid in dying since federal legislation came into effect in June. Thirty-one Albertans have received assistance to die since the beginning of the year, and more than three-quarters of those deaths occurred in the past three months.
  • University and college counsellors are overwhelmed by growing mental health needs on campus, the Ontario University and College Health Association warned. In the previous year, according to the survey of more than 25 000, 65% of students reported overwhelming anxiety, 46% felt so depressed it was difficult to function and 2.2% attempted suicide.
  • Prince Edward Island’s new health information act will require health officials to notify patients when their privacy has been breached. Currently, the government isn’t obliged to tell patients about breaches, although it does conduct audits to check if unauthorized personnel are looking at patients’ electronic health records.

 

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