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Roger Collier | CMAJ | August 17, 2018

  • The federal government announced $378 million in funding to provide grants for 405 health research projects across Canada. Eleven of the grants are for Indigenous health research and 82 were awarded to early-career researchers.
  • The opening of three overdose-prevention sites in Ontario has been put on hold by the province’s government. The government plans to conduct a review of harm-reduction practices and determine if the sites have merit.
  • Canada violated the rights of an undocumented, irregular migrant by denying her essential medical care, according to a decision by the United Nations Human Rights Committee. Canada should compensate the individual for developing serious health conditions after being repeatedly denied blood tests and medical procedures because she didn’t have a health card, states the non-binding decision.
  • The Quebec government will spend $6.9 million to improve access to health care for anglophones and support anglophone associations. It is part of an effort to keep highly-educated anglophones from leaving the province
  • A pharmacist in Nova Scotia was fined and suspended from work for six months for breaching the privacy of 46 acquaintances by accessing their electronic health records without medical reason. The pharmacist was able to access the data via the province’s Drug Information System.
  • British Columba has declared a state of emergency as more than 550 wildfires burn in the province. Air-quality warnings have been issued for parts of the province and in Alberta and Saskatchewan, suggesting people with breathing or medical issues stay inside.
  • The Ontario government appointed a new lead negotiator to handle contract talks with the province’s doctors. Physicians in Ontario have been without a contract for five years.
  • The British Columbia Nurses’ Union has called upon the provincial government to improve worker safety at a psychiatric hospital in Coquitlam after two nurses were recently assaulted by patients. Both nurses were taken to emergency rooms, one with severe face lacerations and the other with a concussion.
  • Alberta Health Services put an associate medical director on leave as it investigates accusations that the doctor made disparaging comments to a group of homeless Indigenous people outside a convenience store. A person involved in the alleged incident claims the doctor told the group they need to “get jobs” and stop “hanging around here being vagrants.”
  • An Ontario surgeon has called on Health Canada to ban metal-bristle brushes for cleaning barbeques. The bristles fall off brushes and end up consumed in food, said the surgeon, who has seen the bristles cause perforations of the stomach, the small intestine and esophagus. Health Canada has received 46 reports of injuries caused by metal bristles in fewer than five years.

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