Roger Collier | CMAJ | August 25, 2017

  • The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) held its 150th annual meeting and general council in Quebec City. Topics discussed include proposed tax reforms, the CMA’s new strategic plan, physician burnout, medically assisted death, harm reduction, advocacy, bullying,medical liability, and disability insurance for medical students.
  • Manitoba signed a health care funding deal with the federal government, months after all other provinces signed similar deals. The province will receive $399.6 million over 10 years for home care and mental health, and was promised $5 million to address kidney disease and the growing use of opioids.
  • Medical researchers are visiting 14 Nunavik communities in Northern Quebec to check the health of 2000 randomly selected residents. The survey has been described as “by Inuit, for Inuit” because many Inuit people will be involved as interviewers and assistants.
  • An unsanctioned pop-up supervised injection site in Toronto will continue to run after the city opens an interim facility next week. Toronto Police said it had no immediate plans to shut down the pop-up site.
  • A licensed medical marijana producer recalled products after a test by Health Canada found two pesticides in a sample of cannabis oil. Broken Coast Cannabis recalled three batches of dried cannabis sold in 2016.
  • Neonatal intensive care units in Ontario are struggling to find room for new patients following an unexpected surge in demand. The Ontario health ministry doesn’t know why there has been a sudden increase in the number of sick, premature babies but is investigating.
  • Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette has proposed capping waiting times at 24 hours in the province’s overcrowded emergency department for patients to be released or transferred. The proposed amendments to Bill 130 would allow hospital administrators to take disciplinary actions against staff if the deadline isn’t met.
  • Nearly a third of Alberta physicians say they would not necessarily feel safe receiving medical care in their own hospitals and clinics, according to a leaked survey obtained by CBC News. About half of the 2600 doctors who completed the survey said they don’t believe Alberta Health Services (AHS) values their opinions, and 43% said AHS management doesn’t understand the risks associated with patient care.
  • Overall opioid prescriptions are dropping in Ontario but many daily doses still exceed national practice guidelines, according to a report by the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network. The volume of opioids dispensed between January 2015 and March 2017 decreased by 18%, but nearly 40% of long-acting opioid prescriptions for people already using opioids exceeded recommended daily thresholds.
  • Canadian children eat less nutritious food while in school than at home, found a study from the University of British Columbia. “The school context provides an important opportunity to promote healthy eating, particularly among adolescents who have the poorest school-hour dietary practices,” suggested the study’s authors.

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