Medical Dispatches

Paul DhillonPaul Dhillon is a Clinical Assistant Professor in Academic Family Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan

 

Twenty-two physicians from across Canada recently left their examination rooms and operating theaters behind for a unique opportunity to represent Canada internationally at the World Medical Football Championships in Barcelona, Spain.

The championships have been occurring annually for 22 years with an associated medical sports and health symposium offered concurrently. This was Canada’s first ever team to participate. Canada was represented from coast to coast with physicians from Halifax to Vancouver selected for the team (see a full list of players below).

We began the tournament in a difficult group that contained the eventual runners-up, Sweden, and the 4th place finishers Australia ...continue reading

HeadshotWanniarachigeDane Wanniarachige is a Health Journalist Intern at EvidenceNetwork.ca

 

The Complex Care Initiative at Sick Kids began in 2006, in memory of the late pediatrician Dr. Norman Saunders. For ten years it has opened its doors to children with multiple and complex health challenges, often to those who could not find adequate care anywhere else.

For Ian Brown’s 19-year-old son, Walker, who was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder at birth, the care provided more than just resources to manage his health. It was the first time his son was not just treated as a patient, or problem to be fixed, but a human being. ...continue reading

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JTepperJoshua Tepper is a family physician and the President and Chief Executive Officer of Health Quality Ontario

 

Often when we talk about improving health care, we turn to the Triple Aim. Developed in 2007 by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in the United States, the Triple Aim captures three objectives for a better quality health system: Improving a patient’s experience of care, improving population health and doing this at a reasonable cost. It has become a way of thinking embraced by many health care systems around the world.

The Triple Aim takes a big-picture, system-wide approach that can be applied to any part of the health care system, as well as across all levels of an organization. The ultimate endgame is a sustainable health care system that patients trust and that contributes to healthier populations.

All great ideas get improved upon over time. ...continue reading

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Viktoria Koskenoja is an emergency medicine resident in her fourth year of the Harvard-Affiliated Emergency Medicine ResidehaleyKcochranency

 

Haley K. Cochrane is  an emergency medicine resident in her second year of the Harvard-Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency

 

We are Canadian women, born and raised in northern Canadian communities. We are both training to be emergency physicians at the Harvard-Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency in Boston. While we would like to come home, there are only massive barriers before us.

There is a known scarcity of emergency physicians (EPs) in Canada. The combination of physician shortages, as well as a concentration of specialists in urban centers, has led to regions where up to 70 percent of ED providers have no formal emergency medicine (EM) training. “With a national shortage of trained emergency physicians, most Canadians will continue to have their emergency care delivered by family physicians,” states the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, “[with] no guarantee that the family physician staffing a community ED will have adequate training in the management of actual emergencies or in resuscitation.” In recognizing these workforce issues, the CAEP recommended increasing residency spots for CCFP (EM) and FRCP-EM programs as well as increasing the use of mid-level providers. But what about a simpler, more cost-effective option—allow U.S. trained EPs to return to Canada? ...continue reading

UhlmannPeter Uhlmann is a semi-retired psychiatrist from Powell River, BC. He works as a locum consultant psychiatrist to several Northern communities.

 

In 2004 I started providing psychiatric locum service to Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territories. I worked in the local mental health centre and also on the psychiatric ward at Stanton Territorial Hospital.  Later I travelled to three other communities;  Hay River, Ft Smith, and Ft Simpson.  For a few years I served those three communities on a regular basis every three to four months. As well as seeing patients, I would provide in service to health providers and education to community agencies. In 2006, I began working in four Inuit communities in Nunavut, specifically in the Kitikmeot region.  I would service Taloyoak, Kugaaruk, Gjoa Haven, and Cambridge Bay. I still travel to these communities twice a year, and provide back up consultation via telehealth, telephone, or email. ...continue reading

TH - PHSPTrevor Hancock is a professor and senior scholar at the University of Victoria’s school of public health and social policy

 

Canada’s health ministers will meet in Vancouver on January 20, 2016. It is good to know we have a federal government that will engage with the provinces on health care. Let’s hope they will engage on health, not just health care.

Forty years ago, the Trudeau government of the day produced the fabled Lalonde report. It became the first government in modern times to acknowledge that further improvements in the health of the population would not come primarily from more health care. ...continue reading

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Pollanen Michael-001Dr. Michael Pollanen is the Chief Forensic Pathologist at the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service

 

I have recently returned from a humanitarian forensic medicine mission in Iraq. The autopsies I performed gave me some insight into how people die in Baghdad die. My observations in the autopsy room are witness to the major cost of war and terrorism on a civilian population. I concentrate on the 6 most frequent types of preventable deaths that I encountered, many of which would not occur - or would not occur to the same extent-  in Canada or other parts of the Western world.

Although my mission to Iraq was focused on the application of forensic pathology to the protection of Human Rights, during my time in Iraq I was struck by the observation that Iraq is a society embedded in conflict. It was once the major cultural and intellectual centre of the Middle East. Yet due to recent wars and internal armed conflict with terrorists, Iraq now faces problems with the safety and security of the population and a widening gap between people who have and do not have access to the essentials of daily life, justice and health care ...continue reading

D_BDavid Benrimoh is a fourth year medical student at McGill UniverDr. Cecile Rousseausity

Dr. Cécile Rousseau is a professor of psychiatry at McGill University, working with refugee and immigrant children

 

The Syrian Civil War has become the greatest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War, creating over 4 million refugees. These refugees have, in large part, taken up precarious temporary residence in countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon. They are unlikely to find permanent residence there because of local integration policies, and so are left to either wait until the conflict in their homeland is resolved, or to apply to attempt to resettle in another country. It must be understood that those living in refugee camps face difficult conditions: sexual violence, trafficking of women and children, and lack of access to healthcare and education.

Because of poor conditions and limited opportunities in camps, many refugees try and make the move to another country. We have all seen reports of refugees drowning by the hundreds while trying to cross the Mediterranean, and the EU has been paralyzed by indecision with respect to who should take how many refugees. Canada has committed to taking in 10,000 refugees by year’s end ...continue reading

QFufXYgd_400x400Medical Students, Henry Annan (Dalhousie University), Jackie Vanek (University of Ottawa), Jacquie Lu (Queen’s University) and Dorothy Yu (University of Manitoba), are the CFMS team responsible for Humans of Pharmacare

 

 

TEN. This is the percentage of Canadians who are unable to afford their prescribed medications.

NINETY-ONE. This is the percentage of Canadians  in favour of a Universal Pharmacare strategy for Canada.

SEVEN BILLION. This is the amount of Canadian dollars that could be saved on prescription drug expenditures every year.

The statistics speak for themselves. The evidence, published in countless editorials and reports across the country, is difficult to deny.

On average, our country spends 30% more than our OECD peers on prescription drug coverage. Of these nations, Canada has the fastest rising drug costs. These costs are often shouldered by our patients due to the low proportion of public funding for pharmaceutical products. Our current system is fragmented and inefficient, leading to profound inequities with regards to who gets to fill their medication prescriptions and thus, who gets to access our health care system. ...continue reading

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Patrick_ODonnellDr Patrick O’Donnell is a Clinical Fellow at the University of Limerick and works on the Partnership for Health Equity project. Last week he attended WONCA Europe 2015 Congress as the recipient of the 2015 WONCA Europe Montegut Scholarship

 

Nobody could have predicted the desperate state in Syria when the World Organization of National Colleges, Academies and Academic Associations of General Practitioners/Family Physicians (WONCA) Europe Conference for 2015 was awarded to the Turkish Family Medicine Organisation  (TAHUD) a few years ago. Few could also have predicted that Turkey would be at the very centre of a mass exodus of people not seen in Europe since the Second World War. According to the UNHCR as of September 2015 the country now finds itself providing refuge to an estimated 2 million Syrians fleeing conflict and destitution. I have heard the current situation being described as a ‘stress test’ of the European values of solidarity and collegiality, ...continue reading