Medical Crisis Management

Coronavirus bouncing back

Wastewater sampling indicates that there is an upward trend in Covid-19 diagnoses and hospitalizations across Canada and in the U.S. Public health officials expect the uptick to continue into the fall. [node:read-more:link]

Quebec lone healthcare holdout

The three northern territories signed on to the federal government’s healthare funding agreement, leaving Quebec as the only holdout. The agreement would see $196 billion transferred over the next 10 years in exchange for commitments to upgrade data collection and digital medical records butQuebec perennially refuses to accept conditions on federal support. [node:read-more:link]

Alberta’s take on opioids

Premier Danielle Smith said today that her province will not implement a “safe supply” approach to its opioid crisis. Calling British Columbia’s approach ineffective, she said "the solution is to get people off of opioids to get their lives back.” [node:read-more:link]

Chinese fentanyl targetted by U.S.

Four Chinese companies as well as eight of their executives and employees are facing U.S. Justice Department charges arising from their role in trafficking materials used to make fentanyl. Attorney General Merrick Garland says the new strategy goes beyond targeting Mexican drug cartels by also pursuing their suppliers. [node:read-more:link]

Canadians seem generally fed up

Federal and provincial governments’ responses to crime and addiction evidently aren’t sitting well with most Canadians, according to the results of a national poll of 1,500 respondents by Léger, the Montreal-based market research and analytics company. “There are some very strong sentiments being expressed,” says Andrew Enns, the company’s executive vice-president. “We’re seeing large percentages of people saying things are getting worse.” [node:read-more:link]

Ukrainian healthcare under seige

The World Health Organisation has verified 1,004 attacks on Ukraine’s healthcare system since Russia’s invasion began in February 2022. The WHO representative in Ukraine says the attacks have “wide-ranging, long-term consequences” and violate international law. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. cancer patients going south

Beginning May 29, British Columbia plans to send up to 50 cancer patients a week to two clinics in neighbouring Washington state. Health Minister Adrian Dix said the transfers to the “partner” clinics in Bellingham are necessary to reduce wait-times as the province builds up its capacity to meet an anticipated surge in demand. [node:read-more:link]

Canada’s healthcare debate continues

As various levels of government and the healthcare sector continue to debate private-versus-public care, the Supreme Court of Canada announced today that it will not hear an appeal (Docket No. 40412) by a Vancouver physician who has been challenging government policies for 14 years. Dr. Brian had argued that a statutory ban on patients accessing private care when the public system can’t provide timely care is unconstitutional. [node:read-more:link]

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]


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