#HealthCanada, #opioidoverdoses, #fentanyl, #GinettePetitpasTaylor, #Ontario, #BritishColumbia, #Canada
Ottawa, Mar 28 (Canadian-Media): Figures released by Health Canada Mar 27 revealed a record number of Canadians died of opioid overdoses in 2017, media reports said.
The data reportedly showed 45 percent spike in fatal overdoses from 2016's 2,861 deaths, with 2,923 victims in just the first nine months of 2017.
According to government's predictions the final 2017 death toll from Canada's hard-drug epidemic will be more than 4,000, which will make overdoses into the top 10 causes of death for the first time.
72 percent of the overdose deaths are reportedly attributable to one drug, fentanyl.
Canadian Border Services made 156 seizures of illicit fentanyl between June 2016 and September 2017, mostly coming from China.
Police are increasingly seeing street drugs cut with fentanyl, making them more powerful and addictive.
And in the first three-quarters of its 2017-18 fiscal year, the agency reports that it has seized 11,497 grams of illicit fentanyl.
Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas Taylor announced new measures on Monday to make it easier for doctors to prescribe methadone and pharmaceutical-grade heroin.
Ginette Petitpas Taylor/Facebook page
But the numbers surrounding people who are seeking treatment for their opioid addictions are large.
In 1996, when methadone was much harder to access, Ontario had just 3,000 listed patients which increased to 38,000 in 2012.
The number under treatment in British Columbia hit 18,000 in 2017.
A fatal dose of the drug, which is up to 50 times more potent than heroin, can be as small as 2 milligrams.
More than 20 percent of Canadian seniors received at least one opioid prescription in 2015-16.
And in Ontario, close to 14 percent of the population had access to the strongest medicine available.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#Ottawa, #Ontario, #Canada, #KathleenWynne, #HelenaJaczek, #CharlesSousa, #NorthYorkGeneralHospital, #OntarioHospitalAssociation, #AnthonyDale, #OntarioHealthInsurancePlan
Ottawa, Mar 25 (Canadian-Media): An additional funding of $822 million investment in Ontario hospitals, an increase of 4.6 percent in 2018-19 was announced Mar 22 by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne at North York General Hospital, media reports said.
This overall increase of 4.6 percent is on top of the 3.2 percent provided last year which would reportedly allow hospitals to invest in the care and supports that address the specific needs of their patients and community.
Hospital operating funding in Ontario was also reportedly increased by more than 65 percent, from $11.3 billion in 2003-04 to almost $19 billion in 2018-19.
"Whether you rely on our health care system once a day, once a year or once in a while, everyone in Ontario deserves high-quality care when they need it — and our skilled, dedicated health care professionals deserve the right resources to deliver it. That’s why our government is investing more to help hospitals deliver better care for patients. It will relieve stress and anxiety for patients, their families and caregivers, and increase patient access to crucial services and procedures — from cardiac services to mental health care. It’s all part of our commitment to help people lead healthy and happy lives — because a healthier Ontario is a stronger Ontario,"
Wynne was reported to state.
Kathleen was joined by Dr. Helena Jaczek, Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, and Charles Sousa, Ontario Minister of Finance, at North York General Hospital to explain how this major increase in hospital funding will provide better access to care, reduce wait times, address capacity issues and better meet the needs of Ontario's growing and aging population.
"We are committed to making sure hospitals have the resources and supports they need to meet the needs of growing and aging communities. With this historic investment, publicly funded hospitals can increase capacity, decrease wait times and improve access to care for families across Ontario," Dr. Helena Jaczek, Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care was reported to state.
Increased need for hospital beds was responded by Ontario's renewed in support with a $187 million investment in 2018-19 to improve access to care and reduced wait times.
North York General Hospital will reportedly receive more than $10.8 million in additional funding in 2018-19, representing a 4.4 percent increase, which includes more than 550 additional MRI (Medical Resonance Imaging) hours for high-risk patients, and support the hospital’s busy emergency department.
Essential services to reduce wait times and priority procedures such as cardiac care, critical care, chemotherapy, treatment for strokes, hip and knee replacements, and medical imaging would reportedly benefit patients and families across Ontario from this increased funding.
An additional $100 million in 2017–18 in home care supports and services had been invested by Ontario and it is creating 5,000 long-term care beds over the next four years and more than 30,000 over the next decade.
In addition Ontario is reportedly historically expanding mental health and addiction services, with an increase of $2.1 billion over four years.
"On behalf of the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA), I would like to thank the Government of Ontario for this important investment in hospital care. This funding is crucial to maintaining access to services in 2018–19. In the time ahead it is absolutely essential that all system partners accelerate the work and investments needed to end hospital overcrowding and ensure that patients get access to the care they need in the most appropriate setting," Anthony Dale, CEO, Ontario Hospital Association was reported to state.
Ontario plans to make prescription drugs free for seniors through Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)+ for seniors 65 and over starting in August 2019, has already made prescription medications free for everyone under the age of 25.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#Ottawa, #Ontario, #Canada, #HealthCanada, #GinettePetitpasTaylor, #PhilippeCouillard, #FCKDUP, #Four Loko
Ottawa, Mar 19 (Canadian-Media): Public consultations would be launched Health Canada today to reduce the percentage of alcohol in the drinks or the format they are sold in, media reports said.
"I am deeply concerned about the increasing accessibility and appeal of high-sugar, high-alcohol drinks in individual doses and the increasing number of young people admitted to hospital after consuming these products," Federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor was reported to state.
Ginette Petitpas Taylor
She also asked that Health Canada meet with provincial governments to discuss advertising, marketing and labelling that would reduce the health risks associated with these drinks.
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said earlier this month that "it is Health Canada's responsibility to make a formal announcement to limit products that pose health risks."
Quebec reportedly announced last week that only provincial liquor stores, commonly known as the SAQ were authorized sale of pre-mixed malt-based beverages containing more than seven percent alcohol, banning all other stores in the sale of such drinks.
The decision came two weeks after Athena Gervais, 14, died after reportedly consuming a can of FCKD UP on her school lunch break.
Mathieu Gaudreault, SAQ spokesperson said, In a statement that SAQ welcomes the ban on selling the potent, sugar-filled drinks in dépanneurs and grocery stores, but has not yet agreed to sell them in its outlets.
The production of FCKD UP had been halted by the company that produced it, but reportedly similar beverages were still on the market.
American-made Four Loko -- sold in 568 ml cans, cost about $3.50 and the alcohol is 11.9 percent -- were removed last year and its manufacturer had reportedly announced that its products will not return to Quebec shelves "until further notice."
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#Ottawa, #Canada, #KathleenWynne, #Elizabeth Dowdeswell
Ottawa, Mar 20 (Canadian-Media): Ontario plans to take bold action to enhance health care, home care, mental health and child care and services that people across the province rely on and giving them every opportunity to care for their loved ones and get ahead to ease the mounting pressures families are facing, media reports said.
Ontario's economy remains strong, with the unemployment rate at its lowest in almost two decades.
In February, the unemployment rate in Ontario was 5.5 percent, the lowest since 2000.
Yet between the rising cost of living and stable, long-term jobs becoming harder to find, many people are struggling to take care of themselves and their families.
“I hear from people every day who put caring first — whether it’s at home, caring for their families, or at work, caring for patients, students or society’s most vulnerable people. The people of Ontario are our greatest strength, and our government doesn’t accept that anyone should be left to fend for themselves, particularly in this turbulent, changing economy. We’re taking bold steps to ensure the best care for our children, our seniors and our friends and family members. Our plan will relieve pressure on families by making it easier for people to care for themselves and for each other,” Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario was reported to state.
Kathleen Wynne/Facebook page
As the changing economy widens the gaps within our society, the government has a plan to build a fairer, better Ontario by supporting everyone in the province with the care and opportunity they need to get ahead.
The government's upcoming Budget will focus on doing more for people in health care, home care, mental health care and child care services and a number of other programs to support people to care for their loved ones and help them to succeed in a changing economy.
The government's priorities were outlined in the Speech from the Throne delivered today by the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Ontario's Lieutenant Governor. The speech opened the third Session of the province's 41st Parliament.
The Throne Speech builds on measures the government brought forward during the first two sessions of the 41st Parliament as part of its plan for fairness, and providing care and opportunity in a time of rapid economic change.
Priorities included: increasing hospital operating budgets to Reduce wait times for health care; provision of adequate services to seniors choosing to stay at home, and to provide financial relief for families who are caring for aging love ones; more investments in mental health and addictions services to enable access of needed care to all people across the province; ensuring access to more affordable prescription drugs and dental care to people without a drug and dental benefits plan; Providing free tuition to more college and university students through the new OSAP; investing in more apprentices training, in workers and businesses, with focus on regions struggling to achieve economic growth; investing across Ontario in public infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, roads, bridges and transit systems.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)