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Roger Collier | CMAJ | September 29, 2017

  • The government of Ontario introduced legislature that will force pharmaceutical companies and medical-device makers to disclose payments to physicians. Ontario would become the first province with a public database containing industry payments to doctors.
  • Ontario researcher Mona Nemer was appointed as Canada’s chief science advisor. Nemer is vice-president of research at the University of Ottawa; her research has focused on heart failure and congenital heart diseases.
  • There were 230 physicians per 100 000 Canadians in 2016, the highest ever ratio of doctors to population, reported the Canadian Institute for Health Information. The average gross clinical payment per doctor was lowest in Nova Scotia ($262 000) and highest in Alberta ($380 000).
  • Universal pharmacare would save Canada more than $4 billion a year, according to an analysis by the parliamentary budget officer. The estimated savings would come mainly from decreased prices through bulk purchasing and more use of generic medications.
  • About two-thirds of people in Nova Scotia who were referred for medical assistance in dying in the first half of 2017 did not receive the service. Physicians in the province say fees for the service are too low and there aren’t enough doctors with necessary training.
  • Health Canada issued a public tender for a national marketing plan to teach young Canadians about the health and safety risks of cannabis. The plan will involve holding events for young people and using social media channels popular among youth.
  • Children and teenagers shouldn’t drink sports and energy drinks, according to the Canadian Paediatric Society. The society stated that the drinks are too high in sugar and caffeine, and young people who consume too much in a short period may experience adverse effects, including hearth rhythm abnormalities and sleep interference.
  • According to Doctors Nova Scotia, 451 doctors would consider leaving Nova Scotia for a higher-paying province, and 375 others would cut their hours, if the federal government implements its proposed tax changes for corporations. Three-quarters of doctors in the province are incorporated.
  • Attempts to reform health care in Quebec were rushed and ill-conceived, according a report by the province’s ombudsman. Problems caused by bureaucratic changes that were “cobbled together hastily” include longer waits for spots in long-term care facilities and decreased access to home care services.
  • Inmates with mental health issues in Ontario prisons have been forced illegally into solitary confinement, according to the Ontario Human Rights Commission. The commission has taken legal action against the province’s government, filing a contravention application with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

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