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2020-08-17
OTTAWA MUST PUT DATA FIRST AND TIE TO HEALTH FUNDING

The federal government looks yet again about to transfer billions of dollars to the provinces with essentially no strings attached. One major quid pro quo could address Canada’s profound lack of high-quality data, especially highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. While U.S. analysts are able in near real time to estimate and project COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths down to the county level, Canada is barely able to produce comparable data by province… Professor Michael Wolfson writes in the Toronto Star.

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2020-08-17
THERE’S A DRUG TO TREAT COVID-19, BUT CANADA MUST ACT SOON TO ENSURE ACCESS

There’s a drug treatment demonstrated to shorten a patient’s recovery time from COVID-19. But the U.S. just bought it all up. Why compulsory licensing is the right tool for right now—Adam Houston writes in the Tyee.

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Read more by Adam Houston in healthydebate.ca:

New Tricks for Old Drugs? Canada Must Change How It Accesses Essential Medicines

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2020-08-17
CANADA NEEDS TO START TAKING LONG-TERM CARE MORE SERIOUSLY

One of the reckonings Canada must face in the eventual aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic is the failure of many long-term care facilities to protect their residents from the disease. How bad is it? To date, 81% of the people who have died from COVID-19 in Canada have been residents of nursing homes. In comparable countries, the toll has been much lower. The Globe and Mail editorial board write based on a report by the Royal Society of Canada.

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Read also the original report by the RSC Task Force on COVID-19, of which CHLPE Director Colleen Flood is a member:

Restoring Trust: COVID-19 and The Future of Long-Term Care

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2020-08-17
IMMUNITY CHECKS COULD HELP ENSURE FANS’ SAFETY AT SPORTING EVENTS

CHLPE Dr. Kumanan Wilson suggests that proof of coronavirus immunity can be a way to ensure the safety of those who attend certain arenas when sports finally emerge from their slumber. In the New York Post.

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2020-08-17
COVID-19 AND CANADA’S MOBILE LABOUR FORCE

Since mid-March, Canadians have been told the best way to control the pandemic is for them to go home and stay home. Still, an immobilised population requires access to essential goods and services including health and home care, food, manufacturing (as for medical supplies), construction and maintenance, and transportation services for goods and people who are still mobile. Over the past eight years, the On the Move Partnership (OTM) has examined what we call the “mobile labour force”, the roughly 15% of the Canadian workforce who engage in complex/extended daily mobility like travel to other regions or provinces/territories, transportation and fisheries workers, and international labour migrants.

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2020-08-17
MORE CANADIANS ARE REFUSING WORK DUE TO COVID-19—BUT IT'S TOUGH TO GET AUTHORITIES TO AGREE

Data on work refusals reported to provincial labour authorities shows there's been a spike in the number of people who have formally refused to work citing dangerous conditions. But virtually none of those work refusals are being upheld, which may illustrate just how unprepared existing labour laws are for dealing with COVID-19. Feat. Professor Katherine Lippel in CBC News.

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2020-06-22
DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS WANTS TRUDEAU TO COMMIT TO FAIR ACCESS TO COVID-19 VACCINES

The government of Canada is full of good intentions but in the global race to find a COVID-19 vaccine, Doctors Without Borders says that’s not good enough. CHLPE's Dr. Jason Nickerson, a population health expert who’s worked in some of the world’s toughest hot spots, says the Canadian government needs to back up its words. In the Toronto Star.

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2020-06-22
TRACKING PUBLIC INVESTMENT IN GLOBAL COVID-19 RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Researchers around the world are racing to develop COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics. However, there are no guarantees about whether these will be affordable and accessible to all people. This tracking tool aims to map where public funding and taxpayer-supported R&D initiatives are taking place in order to better support policy making that will use every means necessary to ensure that vaccines and therapies are affordable to all. Maintained by the Universities Allied for Essential Medicines; the Student National Medical Association; and the American Medical Student Association.

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2020-06-22
THE DEVELOPMENT OF A VACCINE STILL RAISES A LOT OF QUESTIONS

Where are we at with the development of a COVID-19 vaccine and how will it be distributed when it exists? Professor Patrick Fafard (Political Studies) contributes on Radio-Canada.

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2020-06-22
AS THE RACE FOR A VACCINE RAMPS UP, SO DO CALLS FOR VACCINE INJURY COMPENSATION

Researchers are carrying out trials at an unprecedented pace in efforts to bring a successful vaccine to market in a matter of months instead of years. And although vaccine-related reactions are rare, experts say a fast vaccine—especially one developed using new technology—may come with unknown risks. Experts warn we have fallen short in developing a fund to compensate those who may be injured. CHLPE's Dr. Kumanan Wilson (Internal Medicine) contributes. In CTV News.

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2020-06-22
HEALTH HUMAN RESOURCES IN LONG-TERM CARE AND MORE...

Professor Ivy Bourgeault (Management) researches human resources in the healthcare sector. Check out a few of her recent pieces in Policy Optionsrelating to this important dimension of the COVID-19 issue:

Long-term care work is essential but essentially under-recognized

Long-term care work deserves our respect (podcast)

Créer une banque de données des effectifs en santé

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2020-06-22
WE MUST ACT NOW TO PREVENT A SECOND WAVE OF LONG-TERM CARE DEATHS

The majority of COVID-19 deaths to date in Canada have been long-term care (LTC) home residents and workers. Canada has the highest reported national proportion of COVID-19 deaths for LTC residents in the world at 85% of COVID-19 fatalities. The majority are women. What have we learned from these events and how can we use this to prepare for a seemingly inevitable second wave? Carole Estabrooks, Colleen M. Flood and Sharon Strauss write.

Globe and Mail

Royal Society of Canada (open access)

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2020-06-22
HOW SHOULD WE ENFORCE PANDEMIC RULES FOR THOSE LIVING WITH MENTAL ILLNESS?

A careful balance must be struck between public health rules during the pandemic and the civil liberties of Canadians living with mental illness. Professor Jennifer Chandler (Law) writes in Policy Options.

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2020-06-22
IDENTIFY COVID-19 IMMUNITY TO EXEMPT CONTAINMENT?

Some nations are considering imposing an immunity passport to identify citizens who have recovered from COVID-19. Such a document would allow survivors to regain their freedom while those who have never been sick remain subject to the restrictions of social distancing. The theory is that a person who has been infected with the virus would no longer be at risk of infection and transmission since their immune system would have developed antibodies. CHLPE's Dr. Kumanan Wilson (Internal Medicine) is interviewed on Radio-Canada.

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2020-06-05
C.D. HOWE COMMUNIQUÉ ON COVID-19 AND SENIORS' CARE

Professor Colleen Flood is a member of the C.D. Howe Institute's COVID-19 Crisis Public Health and Emergency Measures Working Group, mandated to provide expert insights to help Canadians and Canadian policymakers navigate the COVID-19 crisis. Meeting weekly, this group discusses policy ideas for addressing various aspects of the COVID-19 crisis, and publicly communicates the results of its discussions. Read its communiqué on healthcare for the elderly population in the context of COVID-19, discussing high mortality rates in institutional care settings and some of the underlying causes.

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2020-06-05
THE PANDEMIC AS A CALL TO ACTION TO HELP CANADA’S MOST VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES

COVID-19 has been labelled “the great equalizer”, affecting all groups within society. While it’s true that the impact of the pandemic is widespread, there are individuals and communities that are more affected than others. The frail and elderly, those in crowded conditions while incarcerated, remote Indigenous communities and those who are homeless, suffering from mental illness, addiction, and poverty will suffer the consequences of COVID-19 more than others. Physical distancing, self isolation, good hand hygiene and access to high-quality health care are beyond the grasp of these and other vulnerable and disadvantaged communities... Dr. Jeff Turnbull writes in the Globe and Mail.

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2020-06-05
NICOTINE COULD PREVENT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19, STUDIES SUGGEST

Researchers are investigating the effects of nicotine on COVID-19, the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and evidence for a surprising hypothesis: Cigarette smokers are less likely than non-smokers to contract the virus... CHLPE Advisory Committee Chair David Sweanor contributes.

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2020-05-25
BOOK RELEASE: IS TWO-TIER HEALTH CARE THE FUTURE?

Canadians are deeply worried about wait times for health care. Entrepreneurial doctors and private clinics are bringing Charter challenges to existing laws restrictive of a two-tier system. They argue that Canada is an outlier among developed countries in limiting options to jump the queue. This book explores whether a two-tier model is a solution. In Is Two-Tier Health Care the Future?, leading researchers explore the public and private mix in Canada, Australia, Germany, France, and Ireland. They explain the history and complexity of interactions between public and private funding of health care, and the many policies found in different countries used to both inhibit and sometimes encourage two-tier care.

Open access PDF free / Print copy for sale >