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Roger Collier | CMAJ | November 16, 2018

  • Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem in Canada and costs the country an estimated $1 billion annually, according to Infection Prevention and Control Canada. The organization estimates that antibiotics are overprescribed by 50% in Canada, but accurate statistics are difficult to obtain because 90% of prescription are written outside hospitals.
  • British Columbia should open a supervised injection site for teenagers who uses drugs, recommended the province’s representative for children and youth. Last year, 24 people in BC between ages 10 and 18 died from drug overdoses, double the number from the previous year.
  • The Ontario government should not reinstate sick notes for short-term illnesses, according to the Canadian Medical Association. It will only lead to employees returning to work while still sick or spreading viruses and infections while obtaining sick notes, stated the association, which also expressed concern about the effect on physicians’ administrative burden.
  • The federal government has no role in managing Quebec’s health care system, stated the province’s premier, Francois Legault. The federal government has issued warnings about the “unjust” spread of private health services in the province, but Legault said, “Some prefer to enter the private system for certain exams. It’s going to stay like that.”
  • Alberta became the first province to fully implement Jordan’s Principle. Under a new agreement signed by 11 First Nations and the federal and Alberta governments, First Nations children will receive culturally appropriate health care without delays to determine which level of government will cover the costs.
  • Private clinics that provide intravenous medications lack formal oversight, putting patients at risk, according to government documents obtained by The Globe and Mail. Private infusion centres fall into a grey area and don’t require licences or inspections.
  • Canada Health Infoway launched ACCESS 2022, a campaign to promote “a future where all Canadians have access to their health information through the availability and use of digital health tools and services.” According to an Infoway survey, only 22% of Canadian have online access to their health information and 73% of those lacking online access would like that option.
  • Doctors at walk-in clinics in British Columbia should be paid equally to physicians at full family practices, according to the Walk-In Clinics of BC Association. Doctors at walk-in clinics can’t charge extra fees for complex patients and receive reduced payments after seeing 50 patients in a day.
  • The number of people waiting for hip and knee surgeries in Nova Scotia has decreased by 4.6%, the first drop in many years. The province, which still lags national standards, has implemented a new strategy to get surgical patients out of hospital quicker, which includes near-immediate post-surgery group exercise classes.
  • Health Canada released a draft guidance document for companies that make implantable 3D-printed medical devices. Policies to govern such devices will continue to evolve “due to the fast-changing technological environment,” states the document.

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