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Lauren Vogel | CMAJ | September 21, 2018

  • Canada’s ban on artificial trans fats took effect, almost 15 years after parliament voted in support of the policy. Retailers have a grace period of two years to clear inventory already on shelves.
  • Some doctors and public health advocates decried cost-saving changes to Quebec’s program for vaccinating children against human papillomavirus (HPV). The province switched from covering two doses of Gardasil9, a vaccine that protects against nine HPV types, to offering one dose of Gardasil9 and one dose of Cervarix, which protects against only two types and has not been approved for males.
  • British Columbia is drafting a provincial pain strategy to improve access to services for chronic pain conditions such as arthritis and back pain. The strategy will include guidelines for treatment and referrals to pain management experts.
  • Doctors of Nova Scotia and the province’s New Democrats raised concerns about the introduction of a private health care clinic in Halifax. Critics questioned the legality and oversight of services offered by the Unified Health Community Triage Centre, which has an onsite nurse practitioner but no medical doctors.
  • One in four BC seniors living at home are prescribed antipsychotic drugs without an appropriate diagnosis, warned the province’s advocate for seniors. The rate of antipsychotic prescriptions for BC home care patients is more than 17% above the national average.
  • More Manitobans with cancer are receiving treatment at home after the province began covering their prescriptions in 2012, according to the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy. Previously, patients might have to pay a deductible that could cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars for home treatment.
  • Doctors and nurses in New Brunswick called on the next provincial government to hire more health workers. There is a shortfall of 150 physicians in the province, and 41% of nurses are eligible to retire within five years.
  • The Manitoba Nurses Union called for more security in emergency departments to manage an increase in violence due to a surge in meth-related visits. The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority has had an average of 207 meth-related visits per month so far this year, up from the average of 15 per month in 2013.
  • Ontario high school students protested the rollback of the sexual education curriculum by the Progressive Conservative government. The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario has launched a legal challenge to the change.
  • Nova Scotia introduced legislation that would establish paid sick days for all workers in the province and prevent employers from requiring a doctor’s sick note. Physicians applauded the move, arguing that eliminating the notes will free time to see other patients and reduce potential exposures to sick people who could otherwise stay home.

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