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By Roger Collier | CMAJ | Aug.12, 2016

  • Health Canada changed its rules on medical marijuana to allow patients to grow cannabis at home. Starting Aug. 4, patients who have been authorized by a physician to use marijuana can grow enough to meet their daily needs instead of purchasing it from licensed commercial growers.
  • The federal government has explored the “issues and impacts” of taxing sugar-sweetened beverages to help address obesity, according to information obtained by The Canadian Press. According to the document, the Heart and Stroke Foundation recommended a tax of five cents per 100 millilitres, which the foundation estimated would generate $1.8 billion a year.
  • The number of people vaccinated for influenza increased modestly in areas of Canada where pharmacists were allowed to give the flu shot, found a study in CMAJ. In a survey, 28.8% of people said they received the flu shot, and a 2.2% increase was seen after the introduction of policies that permitted pharmacist administration of the flu vaccine.
  • The Ontario government will give $200 000 to a program aimed at improving the mental health of paramedics, who daily witness as many as four or five incidents of emotional or physical trauma. The program will include the development of resources to identify psychological hazards and increase the capacity of employers of paramedics to promote health and wellness.
  • Vancouver Coastal Health launched an at-home detox program for drug users called Substance use Treatment and Response Team (START). The program is aimed at people who may have trouble attending a residential detox facility, such as single parents and those with disabilities.
  • Almost a quarter of the 90 000 evacuees of the Fort McMurray fire have requested mental health services to date, reports the CBC. The city has brought in health professionals from other parts of Alberta, has set up a walk-in clinic, and counsellors will be in schools when they reopen in September.


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