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News

From The New York Times

Most Doctors Give In to Requests by Parents to Alter Vaccine Schedules

Catherine Saint Louis, Health, Monday 2 March 2015

Click here for the full article.

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Launch – Pan-Canadian Vision & Strategy for Health Services and Policy Research

To position Canada as a global leader in health services and policy research that optimizes health and health system outcomes, the CIHR Institute of Health Services and Policy Research (CIHR-IHSPR), provincial health research funding organizations, and many of Canada’s health charities have worked together and with the community to develop the first-ever pan-Canadian vision and strategy for health services and policy research (HSPR).

The final vision and strategy is now complete. For access to the report, click here.

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From The Globe and Mail

Ontario’s curious shift away from family health teams

Kelly Grant, Health, Sunday 15 February 2015

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From The Toronto Star

Doctors at St. Mike’s launch project to address root causes of poor health

Sara Mojtehedzadeh, Work and Wealth, Sunday 14 December 2014

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From The Gazette

Online self-screening test for students will help detect mental health problems

McGill University and the Université de Montréal announced new initiatives Tuesday to help students deal with mental health issues

Marian Scott, Health, Tuesday 7 October 2014

Click here for the full article.

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HSI Health Data Blog: Mental Health in Canada Interactive Infographic

According to 2012 Statistics Canada data, nearly one-third (33.1%) of Canadians have been affected by either mental illness or substance abuse issues in their lifetimes. Many of those living with such conditions will not receive the treatment they require, or even have their condition diagnosed by a health professional.

This interactive infographic from healthiersocieties.org allows users to examine cross-provincial differences in the prevalence of several select mental health conditions and utilization of mental health treatment services.

Click here to view the full infographic.

26 September 2014

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HSI Health Data Blog: Chronic Conditions, Co-Morbidity, and Healthcare Utilization

Chronic health conditions affect nearly one half of Canadians aged thirty-five and over, and the proportion of Canadians diagnosed with such conditions is only expected to grow in the coming years. In the past decade, the prevalence of several common chronic health conditions has been increasing steadily, and this trend is expected to continue as the population ages.

In order to better understand the impact of chronic conditions on both Canadians and the Canadian healthcare system, we’ve examined data from the Canadian Community Health Survey between the years 2000 and 2012, and have focused specifically on those living with one of seven common or high-impact chronic conditions – arthritis, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and mood disorders.1 We highlight changes in prevalence over time, co-morbidity among these conditions, and healthcare utilization by those diagnosed with these conditions.

To continue reading Chronic Conditions, Co-Morbidity, and Healthcare Utilization on the HSI Health Data Blog, click here.

8 July 2014

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From CBC News

Teen smokers choose ‘kid-friendly’ flavours

Amina Zafar, Health, Thursday 19 June 2014

Click here for the full article.
Click here to read more about the study cited in this article.

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From The Globe and Mail

More time spent sitting down linked to heightened cancer risk

Kathryn Doyle, Health, Wednesday 18 June 2014

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From CBC Radio: White Coat, Black Art with Dr. Brian Goldman…

Seldom Happy Returns

Monday 16 June 2014

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Among 11 countries, Canada ranks ahead of only US in healthcare system performance

June 17, 2014 – The Commonwealth Fund yesterday released Mirror, Mirror on the Wall (2014 Update): How the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally, a report examining healthcare system performance across eleven countries. Among those countries included in the report, health system performance in the United States ranked last, while Canada ranked second-to-last. Out of 11 countries, Canada ranked 11th in timeliness of care, and 10th in both efficiency and safety of care.

More information on Mirror, Mirror on the Wall (2014 Update): How the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally can be found here.

The full report can be found on the Commonwealth Fund’s website, here.

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HSI Health Data Blog: Where Canadians Go for Healthcare

In 2011-12, only eighty-five percent of Canadians aged 12 and older had a regular doctor, leaving approximately four and a half million Canadians to seek regular medical care from other sources. Using data from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) for the years 2007-08 through 2011-12, we’ve examined where those without regular doctors typically go to seek medical care and advice, whilst comparing trends across time and across Canadian provinces and territories.

According to data from the 2011-12 cycle of the CCHS, 79.8% of Canadians without a regular doctor indicate having a place that they usually go when they are sick or require advice about their health, leaving only 20.2% – or 3.0% of the total population – without a usual place to seek healthcare. Across provinces and territories, there does exist variation in the proportion of those with a usual place where care is sought, but there are no pronounced regional trends.

Across Canada, walk-in clinics are by far the type of healthcare facility most used by those without a regular doctor, with 60.9% of respondents identifying walk-in clinics as the place they usually go for medical care. Emergency rooms rank second (13.5%), followed by community health centres (8.3%), appointment clinics (4.3%), doctors’ offices (3.3%), hospital outpatient clinics (2.3%), telephone health lines (0.9%), and other places (6.5%).

To continue reading Where Canadians Go for Healthcare on the HSI Health Data Blog, click here.

5 June 2014

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From The Globe and Mail

Why efforts against obesity aren’t working

Rosanna Tamburri, Report on Business, Wednesday 4 June 2014

Click here for the full article.

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New Research from HSI – Working and Hypertension: Gaps in employment not associated with increased risk

Working and hypertension: gaps in employment not associated with increased risk in 13 European countries, a retrospective cohort study.

BMC Public Health 2014, 14: 536. Juliet Rumball-Smith, Arijit Nandi and Jay S Kaufman.

Background: There is growing evidence to suggest unemployment has a role in the development and incidence of cardiovascular disease. This study explores the contribution of breaks in employment to the development of hypertension, a key risk factor for coronary heart disease.

Methods: We use data from the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe to estimate the association between gaps in employment of 6 months or more (‘Not Working’, NW) and the incidence of hypertension in 9,985 individuals aged 50 or over across 13 European countries. Life history information including transitions in and out of employment was used to create a panel dataset where each visit represented one year of life between age 30 and incident hypertension or censoring (whichever came first). Pooled logistic models estimated the odds of hypertension according to the experience of not working, controlling for age at interview, age at each visit, gender, childhood socio-economic position, and country.

Results: We consistently found no association between NW and hypertension, irrespective of the metrics used in defining the exposure or model specification.

Conclusion: There is the possibility of bias contributing to the null findings. However, given the relatively consistent evidence for an association between unemployment and cardiovascular outcomes in the literature, our results suggest there may be mechanisms – outside of hypertension – that have a comparatively greater contribution to this association.

Click here to access the full article.

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From BBC News

‘Arrogance’ of ignoring need for sleep

James Gallagher, Health, Monday 12 May 2014

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From The New York Times

Medicine’s Top Earners Are Not the M.D.s

Elisabeth Rosenthal, Sunday Review, Saturday 17 May 2014

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From CBC News

Life expectancy in Canada hits 80 for men, 84 for women

Health, Thursday 15 May 2014

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WHO Releases World Health Statistics 2014

May 15, 2014 – The WHO today released the World Health Statistics 2014 report, the latest edition of the WHO’s annual compilation of health-related data from its 194 member states. The report includes a summary of progress made toward achieving health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and highlights topics such as maternal deaths, childhood obesity, and life expectancy.

More information on World Health Statistics 2014 can be found on the WHO’s website here.

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HSI Health Data Blog: Health Behaviours – Smoking

Smoking is an independent risk factor for several diseases that affect a great many Canadians, and the associated health costs have long posed a significant burden on Canadian health systems and the economy more broadly. Compared to the previous decade, fewer Canadians are smoking now and fewer people have taken up the habit in recent years. However there is still some reason for concern in that the proportion of Canadians giving up smoking has remained relatively stagnant since the beginning of this century.

Smoking is on the decline in Canada. In 2011-12, 20.0% of respondents to the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) indicated that they were either daily or occasional smokers, compared to 25.9% in 2000-01 – a decrease of 22.8% in the span of a decade. When only daily smokers are considered, this decline is even steeper, with the proportion of respondents identifying as daily smokers dropping from 21.5% in 2000-01 to 15.2% in 2011-12 – a decrease of 29.3%.

To continue reading Health Behaviours – Smoking on the HSI Health Data Blog, click here.

1 May 2014

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HSI Health Data Blog: Diabetes and Healthy Lifestyles

Over the past decade, diabetes prevalence in Canada has been increasing steadily and the burden of diabetes has proven a substantial burden on the health of Canadians, the healthcare system, and the national economy. The Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) has estimated that, in 2010, the economic burden of diabetes in Canada equaled $11.7 billion, and as diabetes prevalence continues along its current upward trend, so too will the costs associated with the disease. The majority of this burden is linked to the incidence of type II diabetes, which accounts for 90-95% of diabetes cases, and is strongly linked to modifiable risk factors such as diet and exercise.

In order to better understand the relation between diabetes prevalence and healthy lifestyles in Canada, we have examined data from Canadian Community Health Surveys between the years 2000 and 2012. The results provide both cause for concern and reason for optimism…

To continue reading Diabetes and Healthy Lifestyles on the HSI Health Data Blog, click here.

1 April 2014

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From CBC News

Canada’s obesity rates triple in less than 30 years

Health, Monday 3 March 2014

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From The National Post

Seven things to know about federal government’s failed $41-billion health care ‘fix for a generation’

Joseph Brean, Politics, Sunday 30 March 2014

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From The Globe and Mail

Men with heart attack symptoms treated faster than women, study shows

Carly Weeks, Health, Tuesday 18 March 2014

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HSI Health Data Blog: Do You Have a Regular Doctor?

In 2011-2012, approximately fifteen percent of Canadians did not have a regular doctor. And while the number of practicing doctors per capita throughout Canada has steadily increased over the past decade, over the same period there has been nearly no improvement in the proportion of Canadians with access to a regular physician. According to Canadian Community Health Survey data from the years 2002 to 2012, the percentage of Canadians indicating that they do not have a regular doctor has fluctuated between a low of 14.0% (in 2002-03) and a high of 15.3% (in 2007-08).

There is a noticeable geographic component to the distribution of Canadians without doctors. In 2011-12, the proportion of residents in each of the prairie provinces (Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan) without a regular doctor was higher than the Canadian average…

To continue reading Do You Have a Regular Doctor? on the HSI Health Data Blog, click here.

18 March 2014

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New to healthiersocieties.org: The Provincial Diabetes Intervention Index

Built using data from the HSI Canadian Diabetes Policy Database, the Provincial Diabetes Intervention Index provides a detailed view of provincial-level policies related to the prevention, management and treatment of diabetes. Data on provincial diabetes policy frameworks are represented using a heat map design, and comprehensive data tables detail the criteria upon which the index was constructed.

To read more about the Provincial Diabetes Intervention Index and to view the results, click here.

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From The New York Times

Some Progress on Eating and Health

Mark Bittman, The Opinion Pages, Tuesday 4 March 2014

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From The Edmonton Journal

First Nations leaders call for better health services on reserves

Karen Kleiss, Wenesday 12 February 2014

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From The Globe and Mail

Patient advisers a prescription for health-care power shift

Kelly Grant, Health, Monday 17 February 2014

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From CBC News

Heart attack and stroke survivors face barriers to get healthier

Health, Monday 3 February 2014

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From The Globe and Mail

As boomers age, not nearly enough specialists to treat rheumatoid arthritis sufferers

Kelly Grant, Health, Friday 31 January 2014

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From CTV News

Children with mental illness facing long wait times for diagnosis, care

Karolyn Coorsh, myHealth, Sunday 26 January 2014

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From CTV News

Canada ranked last among OECD countries in health care wait times

myHealth, Monday 20 January 2014

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From The Toronto Star

Canadian health care better than Obamacare

Ralph Nader points to 22 ways the Canadian health-care system is better than Obamacare in the U.S.

Ralph Nader, Commentary, Sunday 12 January 2014

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From CBC News

Cancer death rates decline in U.S.

Health, Tuesday 7 January 2014

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From Science Magazine…

Medicaid Increases Emergency-Department Use: Evidence from Oregon’s Health Insurance Experiment

Sarah L. Taubman, Heidi L. Allen, Bill J. Wright, Katherine Baicker, Amy N. Finkelstein

Published Online: Thursday 2 January 2014

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From The Globe and Mail

Why Canadians outlive Americans, and why we shouldn’t be so satisfied

Jody Heymann and Douglas Barthold, Globe Debate, Tuesday 31 December 2013

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From BBC News

Obesity quadruples to nearly one billion in developing world

Health, Friday 3 January 2014

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From The National Post

Linking breast cancer risk to workplace hazards

Special to National Post, Thursday 12 December 2013

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Media Coverage of Latest HSI Research

Health care spending is a large – and ever increasing – portion of government budgets. Improving its efficiency has therefore become critically important. In the first-ever study to estimate health spending efficiency by gender across 27 industrialized nations, HSI researchers discovered significant disparities within countries, with stronger gains in life expectancy for men than for women in nearly every nation.

The study, “Analyzing Whether Countries Are Equally Efficient at Improving Longevity for Men and Women,” was led by Douglas Barthold and co-authored by Arijit Nandi, José M. M. Rodríguez, and Jody Heymann, and has been published in the American Journal of Public Health.


The published findings of the study can be accessed via the AJPH‘s website, here.


Press coverage of the study can be viewed by clicking any of the links below:

McGill Newsroom: Health spending: more efficient for men than women

UCLA Newsroom: U.S. ranks near bottom among industrialized nations in efficiency of health care spending

CNN: How to make U.S. health care more efficient

Huffington Post: U.S. Ranks Near Bottom Among Advanced Nations In Efficiency Of Health Care Spending

Futurity: Men get more bang for health care bucks

Examiner: US healthcare system is ailing reports new UCLA study

Medical Xpress: US ranks near bottom among industrialized nations in efficiency of health care spending

Counsel & Heal: U.S. Ranks Low on Efficiency of Health Care Spending

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From The Globe and Mail

Cancer deaths rise to 8.2 million worldwide, breast cancer sharply up

Reuters, Health, Friday 13 December 2013

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From CBC News

Drug costs falling but only for now

Canadian Press, Health, Friday 13 December 2013

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From The New York Times

Idea of Healthy Obesity Is Tested

Nicholas Bakalar, Body, Monday 9 December 2013

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From Canadian Institute for Health Information

Lung cancer kills more women in Canada than in other OECD countries

CIHI, Thursday 21 November 2013

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From The National Post

Family doctors may be ‘cherry-picking’ rich patients: study

Canadian Press, Politics, Tuesday 26 February 2013

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New Health Council of Canada Report Urges Governments to Work Toward Improving Health of Aboriginal Seniors

November 28, 2013 – A new report from the Health Council of Canada has found that Aboriginal seniors often do not receive the same level of health care as non-Aboriginal Canadians because of poor communication, collaboration, and disputes between governments about who is responsible for the care of Aboriginal people. The report, entitled Canada’s most vulnerable: Improving health care for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis seniors, stresses that, in order to bridge this gap, governments across Canada must place greatest emphasis on collaboration toward improving health care for Aboriginal seniors.

More information on Canada’s most vulnerable: Improving health care for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis seniors can be found here.

The full report can be found on the Health Council of Canada’s website, here.

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From The Financial Times

Nine charts that illuminate health in the OECD

John Burn-Murdoch, FT Data, Thursday 21 November 2013

Click here for the full article.

Registration required.

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OECD Releases Health at a Glance 2013

November 21, 2013 – The OECD today released the seventh edition of Health at a Glance, which draws upon 2013 OECD Health Data to provide comparisons of health system performance across OECD countries. Included in the report are key indicators for topics such as health status, determinants of health, health care activities and health expenditure and financing.

More information on Health at a Glance 2013 can be found here.

The full report can be found on the OECD’s website, here.

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From The New York Times

Experts Reshape Treatment Guide for Cholesterol

Gina Kolata, Health, Tuesday 12 November 2013

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From The National Post

Lung cancer kills more Canadians than any other disease, but research, health support poorly funded: experts

Sheryl Ubelacker, Canadian Press, Thursday 14 November 2013

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From CBC News

Community paramedicine: Regular house visits by paramedics to the elderly have cut 911 calls by half in Deep River, Ont.

The National, Wednesday 6 November 2013

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New Canadian Institute for Health Information website tracks health system performance across Canada

November 7, 2013 – A recently launched website from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) provides interactive tools which allow users to explore health system performance measures across provinces, health regions, and individual hospitals.

Using 15 indicators from five areas of performance measurement, OurHealthSystem.ca displays comparative results in user-friendly infographics, allows users to compare provincial performance to national averages, and identifies – for some indicators – those health regions and hospitals that have performed best in recent years.

OurHealthSystem.ca can be accessed by clicking here.

And, more information on this new website can be found on the CIHI’s website here.

The CBC‘s reporting on the website launch can be found here.

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Community-based trial finds “any level of physical activity” reduces risk of type 2 diabetes in children

October 19, 2013 – The research team behind Physical Activity Intensity and Adiposity in Obese Youth: The P.O.W.E.R Trial, a trial designed to identify the effects of varying intensities of exercise on obese youth, has found that, regardless of intensity, any level of increased physical activity in obese youth leads to fat reduction and a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

These findings were presented by Dr. Jonathan McGavock and his colleagues on the P.O.W.E.R. Trial on October 19, in Montréal, at the 16th annual Canadian Diabetes Association and Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism Professional Conference and Annual Meetings.

More information on the P.O.W.E.R. Trial‘s findings can be found here.

And, further information on the P.O.W.E.R. Trial can be found on the website of the Lawson Foundation website, here.

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From The Globe and Mail

Exposing Canada’s ugly mental-health secret

André Picard, Health, Sunday 13 October 2013

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Society of Actuaries and Canadian Institute of Actuaries report that Canadian health care system is not sustainable

October 15, 2013 – A recently released report from the Society of Actuaries and Canadian Institute of Actuaries has found that, unless significant action is taken, the current Canadian health care system is not sustainable in the face of growing health care costs and proposed changes to the Canada Health Transfer.

More information on Sustainability of the Canadian Health Care System and Impact of the 2014 Revision to the Canada Health Transfer can be found here.

The full report can be found on the Canadian Institute of Actuaries website, here.

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From The Globe and Mail

Obamacare vs. Canada: Five key differences

Antonia Maioni, Commentary, Wednesday 2 October 2013

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From The National Post

Ottawa’s overhaul of health-care funding has left enormous ‘fiscal gap’ for provinces, PBO warns

Jason Fekete, Postmedia News, Thursday 26 September 2013

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One-Third of Canadians Reporting a Need for Mental Health Care in 2012 Did Not Feel They Received Adequate Care

September 20, 2013 – A recently released Statistics Canada report based on data from the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey has found that, in 2012, approximately 17% of Canadians above the age of 15 reporting requiring mental health care in the preceding year. Only 67% of those reporting such a need felt as though their need had been fully met, and the most frequently reported need – and the least likely need to be met – was the need for mental health counselling.

The Globe and Mail‘s coverage of the report can be found here.

The full report, authored by Adam Sunderland and Leanne C. Findlay, can be found on the Statistics Canada’s website, here.

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New Report from the Health Council of Canada Finds Health Care Reforms Have Not Kept Pace with Evolving Health Care Needs

September 20, 2013 – The Health Council of Canada yesterday released Better health, better care, better value for all, a report focused on the results of the health care reforms of the previous decade. The report finds that, despite the promise of the 2003/04 health care accords, progress on improving waiting times has stalled, primary health care services in Canada are behind those of other countries, and that prescription drugs remain too costly for many Canadians.

More information on Better health, better care, better value for all can be found here.

The full report can be found on the HCIC’s website, here.

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From The Globe and Mail

The Canadian medical profession is facing major upheaval

André Picard, Health, Friday 23 August 2013

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From The National Post

Most Canadians doubt health care system prepared to handle ‘tsunami’ of aging boomers, new poll shows

Sharon Kirkey, Postmedia News, Monday 19 August 2013

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WHO Releases World Health Report 2013, Insisting Research is Key to Universal Health Care

August 16, 2013 – The World Health Organization yesterday released the World Health Report 2013, which calls for increased investment in research aimed at improving healthcare coverage in countries around the world and closer collaboration between researchers and policymakers. According to the report, universal health coverage cannot be achieved unless all countries invest in research designed to produce health care solutions tailored to their specific needs.

More information on the World Health Report 2013 can be found here.

The full report can be found on the WHO’s website, here.

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From The Guardian

Why we’re heading for a global healthcare crunch – and how to avoid it

Designing healthcare around the commercial concept of value would improve services and prevent a financial crisis

Anoop Maini, Guardian Professional, Monday 12 August 2013

Click here for the full article.

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CMA Reports Changing Trends in Countries Producing Foreign-Trained Doctors

August 12, 2013 – A recent bulletin released by the Canadian Medical Association has found that, since the 1990′s, there has been a major shift in the countries producing Canada’s newest foreign-trained doctors. Specifically, there’s been a noted decline in the number of international medical graduates (IMGs) coming to Canada from the UK and South Africa, and while Commonwealth countries remain the most common producers of Canada’s IMGs, the number of foreign-trained doctors coming from countries such as Libya, the USA, Iran and Iraq has seen an increase in recent years.

More information on the CMA’s Canadian Collaborative Centre for Physician Resources bulletin reporting this findings can be found here.

The full bulletin can be found on the CMA’s website, here.

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Canadian Medical Association Report Finds Poverty the Biggest Barrier to Improving Health

August 2, 2013 – A recent report published by the Canadian Medical Association based on consultations with more than 1,000 Canadians has found that poverty is the biggest obstacle that must be overcome in order to eliminate health inequalities and improve the health of Canadians. The report contains 12 recommendations, which include a call for federal and provincial governments to develop and action plan to eliminate poverty, and that the federal government do more to help improve the health of Aboriginal peoples.

More information on the CMA’s What Makes Us Sick? report can be found here.

The full report can be found on the CMA’s website, here.

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Auditor-General’s Report Critical of Federal Government’s Diabetes Strategy

August 2, 2013 – The Public Health Agency of Canada has fallen short in its coordination of the Canadian Diabetes Strategy, according to the Auditor General’s Spring 2013 Report. The report has characterised the Agency’s management practices as weak and criticised the federal government’s failure to establish a clear priorities, performance measures, and partnerships under the strategy. The report further highlights the lack of progress that has been made in improving information gathering on diabetes among Aboriginal peoples.

For the Toronto Star‘s reporting on the Auditor-General’s Report, click here.
For the Vancouver Sun‘s coverage of the report, click here.

The full report can be found on the Auditor-General’s website, here.

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New Study Measures Burden of Disease, Injury, and Risk Factors across OECD Countries

August 2, 2013 – A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association by Chris Murray and the US Burden of Disease Collaborators shows that, although life expectancy at birth increased between 1990 and 2000 in Canada, it’s relative rank among 34 OECD countries decreased from 5th to 12th. Norway, Australia, France, Israel, New Zealand, Italy, and Spain overtook Canada in terms of overall life expectancy at birth.

Details of the study can be found at the National Institutes of Health’s PubMed database by clicking here.
Video of Chris Murray’s TEDMED talk on the global burden of disease project can be viewed on YouTube by clicking here.
A full-text PDF version of study can be downloaded from the Journal of the American Medical Association by clicking here.

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