Michael Butler's blog
Late last night Canadians got word that, “The Trudeau government has green-lighted the sale of one of British Columbia’s biggest retirement home chains to a Beijing-based insurance titan with a murky ownership structure in a deal that gives China a foothold in Canada’s health-care sector.” Retirement Concepts owns and operates 24 retirement long term care facilities, largely in British Columbia and Alberta.
Yesterday, finance and health ministers from the provinces and territories met with their federal counterparts to renegotiate the Health Accord. The meeting came on the 50 anniversary of our medicare; on December 19, 1966, parliament proclaimed the Health Care Act as the law, creating the single-payer health-care system we know today. While the federal government showed courage, vision, and prioritized the public’s wellbeing half a century ago, sadly it appears the opposite has occurred at the present time.
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Today the provincial and territorial health and finance ministers met in Toronto to discuss the Canada Health Accord and the future of medicare (tomorrow important negotiations on a new health accord begin with the federal government).
The CBC has reported that drug companies are using stealth ads -disguised as news- as a part of a marketing campaign involving well-known Canadian comedian, a doctor and a public relations firm. The drug company, Novo Nordisk Canada Inc., funded comedian Cathy Jones' (of This Hour Has 22 Minutes fame) PR campaign about vaginal health. Yet, in Globe and Mail interviews and elsewhere, it is not mentioned that the campaigned was sponsored by Novo Nordisk Canada Inc., which makes a vaginal hormone pill.
Over the past two days a major health care summit has occurred in Ottawa at the Chateau Laurier Hotel. The summit, titled “A New Health Accord for All Canadians,” is a partnership between the Canada 2020 think tank and the Canadian Medical Association (CMA). This summit featured variety of stakeholders and speakers including senator Chantal Peticlerc, Dr. Granger Avery the president of the CMA, Dr. Gaétan Barrette the Quebec Minister of Health and Social Services, and Dr. Jane Philpott Canada’s Minister of Health. This summit comes at a pivotal point in the history of medicare with a new health accord being negotiated in coming months and an urgent need for national pharmacare (among many pressing topics).
Medicare in Canada is being put on trial. Dr Brian Day, a for-profit clinic owner, has launched a lawsuit against the B.C. Ministry of Health which is ongoing at the province’s Supreme Court. While this case is provincial, the ruling will have national implications for Canada's universal, public health care system.
Yesterday it was an announcement that Quebec will be putting an end to health accessory/user fees by early January (full detail will be available on 28 September). The change in rules will make it illegal for patients to be charged for medical services that are covered through public health insurance.