Roger Collier | CMAJ | January 12, 2018

  • Ontario has a new health network dedicated to community-led health research in Indigenous communities. More than half of the people participating in the Indigenous Mentorship Network Program of Ontario, which involves 13 research institutions, are from Indigenous communities.
  • The Ontario government should fund suicide intervention and mental health training in high schools, according to the student-led Ontario Student Trustees’ Association. The association presented 16 recommendations in all to the provincial government based on the results of a survey of 8230 students in which 75% of respondents rated their school’s mental health resources as ineffective.
  • Reported cases of influenza are on the rise in Canada and the infection rate will likely peak within a few weeks, say public health experts. This has been an “unusual” flu season because there have been two primary strains of influenza rather than one dominant strain.
  • The federal law on medical assistance in dying was challenged in Quebec Superior court for being too restrictive. The case was brought forward by two patients with incurable degenerative diseases who don’t qualify for the service because their deaths are not “reasonably foreseeable.”
  • Physicians are partially responsible for the opioid crisis and should help solve it, according to an open letter by the Alberta College of Physicians and Surgeons. “The first thing we need to do is prescribe opioids more appropriately, and that means less,” states the letter.
  • Post-holiday flu cases have resulted in overcrowded emergency rooms in many areas of Quebec, with some operating at double capacity. The province’s health ministry has recommended that people seek medical care only if they have difficulty breathing or have a lingering fever.
  • The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health received $100 million from an anonymous donor. The money will create a fund to support research to develop treatments for psychiatric conditions.
  • The Quebec government will pay $233 million to settle lawsuits over extra costs related to the construction of two hospitals. The province will pay $125 million to the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal and the McGill Health Real Estate Group.
  • The physician shortage in Nova Scotia can be attributed to an “antiquated” fee-for-service payment model that creates “volume-driven service,” according to Doctors Nova Scotia. The association would prefer a blended model that would also include capitation, which would see doctors paid per patient instead of per service.
  • More than 220,000 people age 24 and younger have already had prescriptions filled under Ontario’s children and youth pharmacare plan. The plan, which came into effect Jan. 1, provides about four million children and youth with access to more than 4400 medications for free.

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