Medical Crisis Management

Poilievre prescribes licensing remedy

A national standard test he says would help to address the national shortage of physicians and nurses has been proposed by Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre. It would fast-track licensing of professionals who trained abroad or are landed immigrants. “If we had all the doctors that are here today […] working in our health-care system, we could reduce our doctor shortage by half,” he said March 19. [node:read-more:link]

Private health costing provinces

Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos has warned that provinces and territories which permit private clinics to charge patients directly for virtual health care could see their future federal funding clawed back. He said in a March 9 letter to his counterparts that “there should be no fees for medically necessary health-care services, wherever people may live.” [node:read-more:link]

Premier “astonished” by cocaine decision

Health Canada’s approval of a B.C. cannabis company to get into the cocaine market has “astonished” Premier David Eby. Adastra Labs says it received permission February 17 through an amendment to its controlled substance dealer’s licence but Eby said March 2 that “it is not part of our provincial plan” to tackle drug overdose deaths. [node:read-more:link]

Duclos pushes back on allegation

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos is refuting reports that he and a senior departmental official interfered with the work of the Patented Medicines Price Review Board of Canada by asking it to delay reforms designed to reduce drug costs. “PMPRB is a totally independent organization,” Duclos said March 1, adding that he had only suggested that they “do the right amount of consultation.” [node:read-more:link]

B.C. expects $7.8-billion reversal

The New Democratic Party government of B.C., planning to spend its way through an anticipated economic downturn, expects to have a $4.2-billion deficit this year after posting a $3.6-billion surplus in 2022. Healthcare, housing, affordability and public safety are among the top budget priorities. [node:read-more:link]

Alberta signs health deal with Ottawa

Alberta has become the six province to sign an agreement-in-principle with the federal government on health care funding and is scheduled to see $24.2 billion in new money invested over the next 10 years. Premier Danielle Smith called the February 27 deal “a productive first step” as her province and the others as well as the territories press for even month funding. [node:read-more:link]

Five provinces do health deal

The four Atlantic provinces and Ontario have agreed in principle to the federal government’s latest 10-year healthcare funding package. Each province now must come up with specific spending plans because some $46 billion is contingent on the provinces improving access to frontline care and to upgrading data systems. [node:read-more:link]

Teacher fired for stating facts

After four decades if teaching high school in B.C., Jim McMurtry has been fired for departing from the school board’s official stance on the deaths of children at church residential schools. When a student said priests had murdered and tortured the children, he said most had died from disease, mainly tuberculosis, a long-documented epidemiology. One complaint to the board resulted in McMurtry being escorted out of the school in Abbotsford. [node:read-more:link]

Remedy for physician shortage?

The Council of Atlantic Premiers has proposed a new physicians and surgeons registry the leaders say would make it easier for doctors to work temporarily in provinces other than where they are licensed. PEI Premier Dennis King said February 20 after talks with his counterparts that they expect the initiative to be in place by the beginning of May. [node:read-more:link]

Healthcare funding gets mixed reviews

Provincial and territorial premiers have agreed to accept Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s 10-year healthcare funding offer but they have mixed feelings as they focus on bilateral agreements on how the additional $46.2 billion should be used. [node:read-more:link]

Doctor shortage a bureaucratic construct

As an estimated 20 per cent of Canadians in all jurisdictions continue to lack access to family physicians, fewer than 30 per cent of Canadian doctors trained abroad are matched to provincially-constrained residency positions. The system explicitly gives priority to students trained in Canada even though some fail their final examinations. [node:read-more:link]

Healthcare funding never enough

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today offered premiers $46.2 billion in new health care transfers over 10 years, which wen coupled with previous commitments, would amount to $196.1 billion. “This is significant,” he said after meeting with his provincial and territorial counterparts, but it was significantly less than they have demanded to address a nationwide shortage of health care resources. [node:read-more:link]

Doctors drowning in paperwork

Canadian physicians spend 18.5 million hours a year on unnecessary administrative work, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. It recommends that provincial governments could reduce the red tape by 10 per cent, potentially freeing up time for up to 5.5 million patient visits annually. [node:read-more:link]

Make-or-break health summit?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today that he has invited premiers to Ottawa for a February 7 “working meeting” he hopes will address country-wide health care funding problems. The federal government also is looking for a national accord on data and health information as well as long-term deals which would include specific metrics relevant to individual provincial and territorial needs. [node:read-more:link]

Ontario going along on health transfers

Premier Doug Ford said January 10 that Ontario can live with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s call for more federal conditions on any new healthcare transfer payments. “There’s one taxpayer, no matter if it’s a municipal, federal or provincial,” he said. “Do we want a little bit of flexibility? Yeah, and I think they’re willing to do that […] because sometimes you need to shift funds as long as it’s transparent.” [node:read-more:link]


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