Lauren Vogel | CMAJ | Oct. 28, 2016
- The federal government will overhaul the Canada Food Guide by the end of 2018 to reflect the latest scientific evidence. Health professionals and the public can provide input through an online consultation until Dec. 8.
- Quebec committed $76.1 million over 10 years for a preventive health strategy. The plan sets nine goals, including halving the number of smokers and increasing the number of seniors in home care by 18%. The government also announced it will eliminate the province’s health tax by January 2017, two years ahead of schedule.
- Saskatchewan unveiled a plan for curbing the spread of HIV that will focus on preventing new infections in rural and Indigenous communities. In September, doctors criticized government inaction to reduce the province’s high rate of HIV infections, which is double the national average.
- A unit set up by the British Columbia government to investigate fraudulent billing by doctors has not been able to convince Crown prosecutors to lay any criminal charges. So far, the Ministry of Justice hasn’t approved any charges and isn’t considering any cases.
- A CBC News investigation raised questions about safety and the state of mental health care provided in New Brunswick jails. According to data obtained through an access to information request, there have been four suicides and 919 suicide attempts or cases of life-threatening self-harm among inmates in the last 14 years.
- The Nova Scotia Health Authority apologized for sending a letter that asked patients to remove themselves from a wait list for mental health care if they “have likely improved by waiting.” Premier Stephen McNeil called the letter “unacceptable.”
- Health officials urged BC residents to get the flu shot because the dominant strain of influenza this year, H3N2, is particularly dangerous for seniors, children and people with compromised immune systems. According to the BC Centre for Disease Control, there tend to be more hospitalizations and deaths from influenza when the H3N2 strain is dominant.
- Heart attack patients treated in Red Deer are up to 70% more likely to die than those treated in Calgary, according to an Alberta Health Services’ document obtained by CBC News. Doctors in Red Deer said that opening a local cardiac catheterization lab could save about 32 lives a year, but Health Minister Sarah Hoffman said that won’t happen any time soon.
- Canadians are having babies later, with more women over 30 giving birth than younger women for the first time in 2013, according to Statistics Canada. In 2013, 45.6% of births were among women under age 30, down from 60% in 1993.
- Nunavut is giving out 800 “baby boxes” that are packed with supplies for newborns and can also double as a crib. The territory has the highest rate of infant mortality in Canada; Finland’s baby box program helped the country reduce infant deaths from 90 in 1000 to less than two in 1000.
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