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Voter concerns about health care, a spike in carfentanil deaths, cybersecurity concerns over insulin pumps, and more in the top Canadian health care news stories of the week.

Health News Recap

  • Health care is the third most important issue to Canadians in the leadup to the national election in the fall, found a CBC poll. The top two issues are cost of living and climate change.
  • The fentanyl analogue carfentanil contributed to 142 deaths in Ontario in the first quarter of 2018, according to the province’s chief medical officer of health. The drug was associated with 95 deaths in all of 2018.
  • The Quebec government promised an addition $47 million to improve care for children under youth protection. The money will fund 400 new youth-protection positions, to help eliminate wait times for vulnerable children and reduce burnout among existing workers.
  • Canadian male students gain an average of eight pounds in their first year of university, compared to four pounds for female students, found a study in PLOS ONE. Both genders “undergo unfavorable changes in nutrition” during this period, wrote the authors.
  • A “caravan” of Americans visited Canada to purchase insulin. There is an “insulin price crisis” in the United States, according to the approximately 20 members of the group Caravan to Canada.
  • Health care support workers in Calgary staged a protest against the Alberta government’s proposed bill that would delay wage negotiations. The province’s health minister said the bill is not about wages but rather about deferring arbitration.
  • The Ontario government announced an additional $9 million for the redevelopment of a campus of The Ottawa Hospital. The province has promised to invest $27 billion over a decade in hospital infrastructure across Ontario.
  • Seniors in British Columba no longer have to accept the first long-term care bed that becomes available, announced the province’s health minister. Starting July 15, they can choose three preferred options and wait for the placement that is best for them and their families.
  • The Mental Health Foundation in Alberta received a gift of $5 million to improve access to mental health services for youth across the province. The money, from the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, will be used to create mental health hubs to support people aged 11–24.
  • Health Canada warned people with diabetes that some insulin pumps could be vulnerable to cyberattacks. There have been no reported incidents, however, and the risk of an attack is low.

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