Health & Safety

Coke and meth demand booming

The UN says cocaine demand and supply are booming and methamphetamine trafficking is expanding beyond established markets. In annual report released June 25, it says the number of people taking drugs rose by 23% to 296 million in 2021, the latest year for which data are available, and that only half the increase is due to population growth. [node:read-more:link]

“Forever chemicals” compensation announced

The Minnesota-based chemical industry giant, 3M Company, will pay at least $US10.3 billion to settle lawsuits over contamination of many public drinking water systems with environmentally-persistent compounds used in a wide range of consumer and other products. It confirmed the deal June 22 even as the Canadian government continued to solicit public comment on proposed “forever chemicals” regulations. [node:read-more:link]

U.K. firm liable in Beirut blast

Two and a half years after a massive dockside explosion in Beirut killed more than 200 persons and injured more than 6,000 others, a British court has ruled that a London-based company which chartered the ship that delivered the ammonium nitrate in 2013 is liable. Court documents show that senior Lebanese political, judicial and security officials were aware of the risk but had not taken action. [node:read-more:link]

Feds return-to-work protocols

A month before federal government employees return-to-office mandates take effect, several departments are dropping requirements to wear masks and practise physical distancing. Despite union resistance, many employees must attend their workplace at least two days a week or 40 per cent of their pre-pandemic presence. [node:read-more:link]

Getting ahead of climate change?

British Columbia ostensibly will be better prepared to deal with natural disasters related to climate change though a program announced by Premier David Eby. “The last few years have taught us a hard lesson,” he said, citing wildfires, floods, a lethal heat wave and infrastructure damage. Accordingly, his government is adding $180 million to its Community Emergency Preparedness Fund. [node:read-more:link]

Ransomware a British preoccupation

The British government’s interdepartmental COBRA crisis management team has spent post of its recent meetings addressing ransomware attacks on utilities and other critical services rather than other emergencies. The focus seems to be a response to warnings by the National Cyber Security Centre that ministerial responses to the growing number of attacks was inadequate. [node:read-more:link]

New global population milestone

The United Nations says the world’s population has topped eight billion only 11 years after surpassing the seven-billion mark, renewing concerns about the world’s capacity to meet demands. However, in publishing its estimate November 15, the UN said that decelerating growth could mean it will be 15 years before the population reaches nine billion. [node:read-more:link]

Joly speaks out on human rights

As the UN General Assembly wound down today, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly urged the protection of women’s rights, including access to abortion and rooting out sexual violence. “We will fight for your full meaningful participation in all walks of life,” she said. “No government, no politician, no judge, no one can take that away from you.” [node:read-more:link]

Medical bureaucracy frustrates physician

A physician doctor originally from Toronto who trained at Memorial University in St. John’s and now practises in Massachusetts volunteered to move to Newfoundland for three months at no cost to help address a doctor shortage in one community. His offer was accepted by the hospital and the province but rejected by the provincial College of Physician and Surgeons. It said that because he had been practising telemedicine for the past three years, it could not license him “at this time” because he needed to have been practising “active” medicine during that period. [node:read-more:link]

Patented Medicines Statistical Report

Sept 2022: This document provides a statistical overview of the administration of the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations, data protection under the Food and Drug Regulations, and Certificates of Supplementary Protection. These regimes are administered by the Office of Patented Medicines and Liaison within the Office of Submissions and Intellectual Property, Resource Management and Operations Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada. [node:read-more:link]

Health Canada: Product Highlights 2021

The Health Products and Food Branch of Health Canada reviews and authorizes health products to ensure safe, effective and high-quality products, including vaccines, tests, treatments, personal protective equipment, disinfectants, sanitizers and other health products Canadians rely on every day. Read intro here. [node:read-more:link]

Lessons for Organizational Resilience

Three well-known incidents highlight key aspects from which to learn from failure and then improve resilience. Approaching global uncertainty is not unlike going into battle with an unknown adversary. However, there are “known” unknowns, and while recognizing them makes them no less daunting, it does help to better understand the battle space. [node:read-more:link]

Military vaccine mandate to be “tweaked”

Chief of the Defence Staff, General Wayne Ayre, says the Canadian Armed Forces’ coronavirus vaccination program, mandated last October, remains an operational necessity, but he plans to “tweak” it to find a “sweet spot" between the military's medical, legal, operational and ethical requirements. “This is an institution that's unlike any other because […] we are the nation's insurance policy,” he says. “We have to go into dangerous locations and close confined quarters, we have to deploy overseas, where there's potentially an increased threat with the pandemic.” [node:read-more:link]

Monkeypox declared global emergency

The expanding monkeypox outbreak in more than 70 countries, including Canada where 681 cases have been confirmed, is an “extraordinary” situation that qualifies as a global emergency, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared July 23. In an unprecedented move, he personally opted for the designation to break a deadlock on the UN agency’s emergency committee. [node:read-more:link]

Health transfer payments grievance unwarranted?

The federal government is yet again being accused by provincial and territorial leaders of short-changing them when it comes to paying for health care. They have reiterated a demand that federal transfers should be increased to 35 per cent of their services’ delivery costs but an examination of overall federal funding over the past decade suggest the latest demand may not be justified. [node:read-more:link]


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