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Dissolving LHINs in Ontario, implementing a single EHR in New Brunswick, and more in this week’s top health news.

Health News Recap

  • Ontario’s government is considering dissolving the province’s 14 local health integration networks and replacing them with no more than five regional oversight bodies. It costs about $90 million a year to operate the networks and dissolving them may be the first step in an overhaul of health care administration in the province.
  • New Brunswick will invest $12.5 million over four years to implement a single electronic health record for the province. The goal is to replace different systems that don’t communicate with each other.
  • Manitoba wait times for addiction treatment increased to 52 days for men and 206 days for women so far this year, up from 48 days and 195 days, respectively, last year. The wait for treatment in Winnipeg can be as long as seven months.
  • Saskatchewan plans to create an online organ donor registry but it will not be an opt-out system, in which consent is presumed unless indicated otherwise. The province’s donor rate lags most of the country.
  • British Columbia will scale up an overdose prevention pilot that provided opioid users with safer substitutes, including methadone, suboxone and prescription heroin. About 73% of participants were able to stick with the program at the 90-day mark.
  • Nova Scotia’s long-term care system is in crisis because of staffing shortages and it’s unclear how many positions are vacant. An expert panel called for an immediate increase in temporary workers to support full-time staff.
  • First Nation advocates raised concern that Alberta doctors are exempt from cultural sensitivity training that is mandatory for health workers. At last count, just 58 of 4000 physicians in the province had taken the training.
  • Lack of resources in Manitoba’s Child and Family Services system is putting children at “imminent risk of death and dying” from drug overdose and suicide, according to the province’s children’s advocate. “There’s been an increase in drug use and there hasn’t been an increase in the resources,” the advocate stated.
  • Health Canada rejected accusations that evidence used to reapprove the use of glyphosate in weed killer was tainted by industry influence. Environmental health groups had called for an independent review, but Health Canada used its own scientists and concluded there is “no doubt or concern” about the evidence.
  • A Montreal public health physician called for mandatory carbon dioxide detectors in all public institutions after a leak at an elementary school led to the hospitalization of 43 children and adults. According to the province, schools are under no obligation to have carbon monoxide detectors, although they are recommended.

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