Roger Collier | CMAJ | Oct. 21, 2016
- Provincial health ministers met with federal Health Minister Dr. Jane Philpott to discuss the annual increase to the Canada Health Transfer, which will drop next year from 6% to 3%. The provincial ministers expressed frustration about the cut and also about the federal government’s plan to tie funding to specific programs such as home care.
- Throat and mouth cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infections increased 56% in men and 17% in women between 1992 and 2012, according to a report from the Canadian Cancer Society. In 2016, an estimated 4400 Canadians will be diagnosed with an HPV-related cancer.
- There is a “social and economic imperative” for Canada to respond to the unique mental health needs of immigrants and refugees, according to a report by the Mental Health Commission of Canada. These populations require “tailored and culturally appropriate” health services, states the report.
- Family violence is an important but under-reported public health problem, said Dr. Gregory Taylor, Canada’s chief public health officer. A woman is killed by a family member every four days in Canada, and 233 violent incidents are reported to police every day, according to a report Taylor presented to Parliament.
- British Columbia pharmacists may soon be encouraged to distribute the abortion pill Mifegymiso (mifepristone-misoprostol) directly to women by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC and the College of Pharmacists of BC. Health Canada has mandated that only physicians can distribute the drug, which will soon be available in Canada, but some doctors and abortion advocates are worried that doctors’ offices aren’t equipped to serve as drug dispensaries.
- The Ontario government is exploring ways to improve eHealth Ontario but will not sell the electronic health records system or allow commercial use of personal health information, announced Premier Kathleen Wynne. The premier has enlisted Ed Clark, former CEO of TD Bank, to complete an assessment of the health record system.
- Family caregivers provide up to 75% of home care for aging family members, according to Doctors of BC. The association has committed to raise awareness of the importance of caregivers, help physicians enhance supports for caregivers, and work on a strategy that formally recognizes caregivers as partners in care.
- Some users of medical marijuana are petitioning the government to make the drug more affordable. They want the government to drop the sales tax when marijuana becomes legal and to encourage medical insurers to cover cannabis.
- The Quebec College of Physicians is seeking more authority to discipline doctors who commit sexual misconduct. The college argued that existing penalties are not tough enough and strengthening them would send a positive message to patients and the public.
- There have already been nine cases of mumps in Manitoba since September, more than double the usual annual total in the province. Manitoba Health has warned that the disease could spread because of lack of herd immunity.
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