Roger Collier | CMAJ | July 7, 2017

  • The federal government is working on a $1.9-million advertising campaign targeted at youth to dispel the myth that driving under the influence of marijuana is acceptable. The ads are expected to roll out before recreational cannabis is legalized on July 1, 2018.
  • Residents of Quebec will be able to obtain the abortion pill Mifegymiso for free in the fall, announced provincial Health Minister Dr. Gaétan Barrette. An ultrasound will be required to ensure the pregnancy is under 49 days of duration, and women who receive the drug must attend a follow-up appointment with a physician.
  • Providing patients in British Columbia with access to medically assisted dying is “economically untenable” due to low fees, according to a physician from the province. According to the doctor, providing the service takes an average of 3.5 hours but physicians receive only $200 from the province.
  • The Ontario Medical Association plans to appeal a court ruling that will allow the provincial government to publicly release physician billings with names attached. According to the association, billing information is personal information, does not reflect actual physician earnings, and provides “no useful information regarding the health care system.”
  • Only 56% of Alberta patients requiring spaces in continuing-care facilities received one within 30 days of assessment, below the target of 62% and the lowest rate since 2011. Alberta Health stated that several factors are to blame, including delays in opening new continuing-care spaces and unanticipated issues at existing facilities.
  • New statistics indicate that 548 people have received medically assisted death in Ontario since it became legal. However, the number of clinicians registered to participate in the service has dropped from 181 to 74 since the province switched from a confidential referral list of providers to a care-coordination service on May 31.
  • First Nations advocates in Vancouver want the city to create an Indigenous-focused addiction treatment centre that would offer culturally sensitive health services. According to BC’s First Nations Health Authority, First Nations people are five times more likely to overdose on illicit drugs.
  • Three youths and one young man died by suicide in the span of a week in First Nations communities in northern Ontario. Health Canada announced it has reached out to the communities affected and will work with them to ensure they have the necessary mental health resources to help address the ongoing suicide crisis.
  • The wait list for a family doctor in Nova Scotia has grown from 25 000 in March to 33 216. According to Doctors Nova Scotia, the province will have to recruit 1000 doctors over the next decade.
  • A baby born to a non-binary transgender parent in British Columbia has been issued a health card without an indication of gender. Some media outlets are reporting that this has never happened before, and the story has received widespread international attention in publications such as Time and The Guardian.

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