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Adverse event reporting rules released, high-earning doctors named in Ontario, fake cannabis labels circulating in Saskatchewan, and more in this week's top Canadian health news.

Health News Recap

  • Health Canada will require hospitals to report serious adverse events involving drugs and medical devices within 30 days. Under rules to come into force soon, hospitals must report how the drug or device was used, contributing factors to the adverse event, and how it affected the patient’s health.
  • The prevalence of human papillomavirus 16 and 18 dropped 83% in teenage girls after the HPV vaccine was introduced, according to a Canadian analysis of vaccination programs. High-grade cervical lesions dropped 51% in vaccinated girls aged 15–19 and 31% in those aged 20–24.
  • Sixteen children and youth suffered serious or life-threatening events linked to recreational cannabis in the months around legalization, according to preliminary data from the Canadian Paediatric Surveillance Program. Six of 11 verified cases involved children eating cannabis edibles.
  • The federal government signed self-government agreements with Métis Nations in Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan. The agreements will enable Métis communities to manage their own health care.
  • The Toronto Star identified 194 high-earning doctors in Ontario whose annual billings ranged from $1.4 million to $6.9 million between 2011 and 2018. Nearly half were ophthalmologists or radiologists.
  • British Columbia announced a 10-year plan for mental health and addictions care, including $10 million for subsidized counselling services. The province will create integrated child and youth teams, open eight youth centres, and construct two First Nations urban treatment centres.
  • The number of “red alerts,” or times when ambulances are unavailable to respond to emergencies, is rising in Newfoundland and Labrador. There were 460 red alerts last year, up from 341 in 2017, and there may be even more this year, with 156 recorded in the first quarter of 2019.
  • Illegal cannabis with packaging designed to look like a Health Canada approved product is circulating in Saskatchewan. The fake labels look almost identical to the real thing but lack information like lot numbers and potency details.
  • A record numbers of West Nile virus cases were reported in Quebec last summer, according to public health officials. About 200 Quebecers were infected and four died.
  • Alberta Health Services plans to raise the price of parking for employees in a move that health workers say adds insult to injury after the province passed a bill delaying wage negotiations. Parking fees will increase $3–$10.50 per month and will increase each of the next three years.

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