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Roger Collier | CMAJ | August 24, 2018

  • The Canadian Medical Association’s annual general meeting in Winnipeg was a contentious affair, with some doctors in attendance voicing frustration about the CMA’s attempt to push through major governance changes in only a couple of hours. A motion to change the composition of the CMA board passed, but motions to end the annual General Council and open elections to national online voting both failed.
  • Saudi medical trainees at five Canadian universities were granted an extra three weeks in the country. The extension gives Canadian hospitals more time to adjust to the loss of trainees and will allow some of the trainees to write their Royal College of Physician and Surgeons of Canada exams.
  • Air quality in British Columbia continues to worsen because of smoke from wildfires. Some areas in the province received the highest rating of air-quality health risk (10+), indicating high concentrations of fine particulate matter.
  • Health Canada warned students entering university about of the danger of opioids.  Students were urged to learn the signs of drug overdose, including small pupils, clammy skin, weak breathing and extreme drowsiness.
  • Dr. Gigi Osler was officially installed as the president of the Canadian Medical Association at the CMA’s annual general meeting in Winnipeg. She is an ear, nose and throat surgeon in Winnipeg and an assistant professor at the University of Manitoba.
  • Health Canada expanded a recall on blood pressure medications that contain a potential carcinogen. Eight addition products were added to the 28 valsartan medications already recalled.
  • About 1000 Ontario patients with cancer may have received less than the full dose of chemotherapy drugs prescribed to them, according to a review by Cancer Care Ontario. However, of the patients identified, fewer than 10 needed to be treated again.
  • Health Canada is reviewing a decision by the US Food and Drug Administration to extend the expiry dates of EpiPens. Canada and the United States are both experiencing a shortage of EpiPens.
  • Diabetes Canada has closed two offices, merged three summer camps for children with diabetes, and cut staff by 20% across the country. The organization said it is an unfortunate consequence of a changing charity landscape in which many health charities are struggling to stay financially viable.
  • The Canadian Medical Association’s Health Summit in Winnipeg this week focused on innovation and the future of health care. Subjects discussed include barriers to adoption and scaling of innovative ideas, patient empowerment, physician contribution to med-tech design, Indigenous health and big data.

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