Roger Collier | CMAJ | March 31, 2017

  • About 75% of Canadians receive care within recommended wait times for five priority procedures, according to a report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information. Those procedures are hip replacement, knee replacement, cataract surgery, hip fracture surgery and radiation therapy for cancer.
  • Two Canadian researchers have won Gairdner Awards, which recognize contributions to medical research around the world. The researchers are Dr. Antoine Hakim, professor emeritus of neurology at the University of Ottawa, and Lewis Kay, senior scientist in molecular medicine at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.
  • Quebec eliminated its health services tax as part of its budget, which will provide a total annual savings for taxpayers of $473 million. Since 2010, any resident earning $18 570 or more a year has paid at least $50 for the tax, with high-earners paying up to $200.
  • Immigrant children and youth in Canada are less likely to be unintentionally injured by firearms, according to a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Rates of assault-related firearm injuries, however, are similar among immigrants and nonimmigrants.
  • Loblaw Companies limited and Shoppers Drug Mart announced it will cover the costs of medical marijuana for employees, up to $1500 a year. Claims will only be considered, however, for “prescriptions to treat spasticity and neuropathic pain associated with multiple sclerosis and nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy for cancer patients.”

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  • The government of Newfoundland and Labrador eliminated 93 health care positions as part of an effort to reduce its management structure. The cuts will not affect health services, promised the province’s health minister, Dr. John Haggie.
  • There have been 51 confirmed cases of mumps in Alberta, nearly half of them in Edmonton. There were only eight cases of mumps in Edmonton all of last year, according to Alberta Health Services.
  • Hundred of family doctors in Nova Scotia are owed $6 million by the province’s government. The delayed payments, ranging from $1000 to $35 000, are for services covered under the province’s Comprehensive Care Incentive Program, such as house calls and nursing home visits.
  • Canadians aged 40-59 use condoms less often than younger people, according to a University of Guelph study published in The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality. A survey of people in that age range (married, divorced, single and widowed) found that 65% of men and 72% of women did not use a condom during their last sexual encounter.
  • Canadian businessman Jim Pattison donated $75 million to the St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation in Vancouver, which will be used to build a medical and research centre. It is the largest donation by a private citizen to a single medical facility in Canadian history, according to the foundation.

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