Month: April 2023

N.L. has no plans to pay for care by private nurse practitioners: Osborne

A man wearing a blue, collared shirt and blazer, standing beside a woman with a black shirt. Both have stethoscopes hanging around their neck.
Travis Sheppard and Lacey Sparkes have operated a private nurse practitioner clinic in Corner Brook since February 2022. (Submitted by Lacey Sparkes)

Nurse practitioners who have their own private clinics won’t be able to bill the government for patient visits any time soon, and the association that represents them says that hurts people who need care at a time when there’s a shortage of health-care providers. 

Right now, private-practice nurse practitioners have to charge patients out of pocket, and some of them have said what’s needed is a way to have the cost covered by the Newfoundland and Labrador government. 

But the province’s health minister, Tom Osborne, says the provincial government is not considering direct billing to the public health-care system for nurse practitioner visits. 

“We aren’t looking at that at this particular time,” said Osborne. “The nurse practitioners in this province will be part of the public system.”

That’s bad news for nurse practitioners such as Lacey Sparkes and Travis Sheppard. The two nurse practitioners have been in private practice together since February 2022 at the Nurse Practitioner Health and Wellness Clinic in Corner Brook. 

“What we’ve been asking for is, we just want a way to practise autonomously where we can provide our services without a fee to the patient. We want to provide a publicly funded service,” said Sparkes.

Sheppard said their clinic had a huge influx of patients when it opened, as so many people without family physicians were glad to be able to get care and to avoid emergency room visits. With the presence of the private nurse practitioner clinic obviously alleviating pressure on the local emergency room, he said, it’s hard to understand why the government doesn’t see value in covering the cost of patient visits.

“I’m surprised that we’re not further ahead than

Major data breach at Queensway Carleton Hospital could affect 100,000 patients

The personal and health information of about 100,000 Queensway Carleton Hospital patients could be affected by a major data breach, the hospital said Friday.

The breach involves the hospital’s use of an Ottawa company’s cloud-based platform over a two-year period starting in March 2021.

That company, Aetonix, discovered early last month that an unauthorized third party gained access to an internal test environment where personal health information was stored, the hospital said in a statement on Friday.

“Following a thorough review of the incident, Aetonix’s forensic investigation has concluded that the incident may have resulted in your personal health information being accessed or copied by an unauthorized third party,” the hospital said.

“Patient data that may have been impacted include: patient ID numbers, patient visit ID (Account/Encounter number), patient name, gender, date of birth, marital status, mother tongue, home address and postal code, phone number, email address, OHIP number and version, insurance policy number, health care providers, scheduled surgical appointments, past medical history, and procedure description.”

The hospital said it has stopped using the platform and there’s no evidence the information has been misused.

“QCH takes the privacy and security of personal information very seriously, and we sincerely regret that this incident occurred.”

The hospital is sending individual letters to about 100,000 patients who may potentially be impacted. The hospital says its electronic medical records and patient portal were not impacted and no financial or banking information was accessed.

Anyone who got a COVID-19 vaccine at a QCH-affiliated clinic also wouldn’t be affected – that data was uploaded straight to provincial ministry of health servers.

“We want to stress that neither QCH nor Aetonix are aware of any misuse of this information and Aetonix’s investigation could not confirm whether any unauthorized person actually viewed or copied your information,” the hospital

Gwyneth Paltrow Offers Fans Advice on Perimenopause

Gweneth Paltrow is getting candid on menopause.

The Goop Founder, 50, was asked on her Instagram Story about her approach to perimenopause, which the Mayo Clinic defines as the time when a woman’s body makes the transition into menopause and they begin to feel symptoms like hot flashes, sleep problems and mood changes.

The actress, while appearing to lay down on a bed, answered: “My approach to perimenopause is really just to try to have good overall health.”

“So good gut health, sleep, hydration, meditation, kind of all the basic tenets of wellness and [be] open to more allopathic interventions as well,” she went on to explain.

She said that women should also be “open to anything” and try what works for them.

Gwyneth Paltrow/Instagram

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“I think people should really follow their instinct and have robust conversations with their doctors,” she added. “I recently found an integrative and functional OBGYN, so that’s pretty good.”

Last month, Paltrow addressed backlash over comments she made on her episode of The Art of Being Well podcast with Dr. Will Cole about her anti-inflammatory diet of bone broth and vegetables.

She told Dr. Cole, “I eat dinner early in the evening. I do a nice intermittent fast. I usually eat something at about 12. In the morning, I’ll have something that won’t spike my blood sugar, so I have coffee. But I really like soup for lunch. I have bone broth for lunch a lot of the days.”

In a Q&A session on her Instagram Story, she set the record straight on her eating habits, which many

The Sani Sisters’ South Asian-Inspired Fashion on TikTok

Fashion is synonymous with self-expression, and Niki and Ritika Shamdasani created an entire clothing brand out of their need to feel seen in the fashion industry. When a search for outfits to wear to an Indian wedding left them empty-handed, the sisters set to work creating their own fashion brand tailored to their personal styles. Sani, an abbreviated version of their last name, is a formalwear brand inspired by their South Asian culture. From the age-old dilemma “I have nothing to wear,” the sisters created a sustainable clothing company that blends culture and community.

“What we found on TikTok was not just an Indian American community. It was a community interested in the culture as whole.”

“We didn’t have a huge community of Indian Americans or South Asian Americans,” Niki tells POPSUGAR of being born and raised in Fayetteville, NC, after their parents emigrated from India. Growing up in their small, predominately white hometown, the Shamdasani sisters felt out of place. It wasn’t until a family wedding sent them searching for traditional South Asian wedding guest outfits that they realized the importance of making South Asian clothing available to Western consumers.

Inspired by their personal dilemma, the sisters created a line of wedding-specific formalwear. “For us, it just made so much sense to start off in this category, bring everyone into the culture in a way that hadn’t been done before, in a way that felt accessible and approachable,” Niki says.

They’ve seen their biggest success on TikTok. On the platform, the sisters maintain a dedicated fan base that has made their business “100 times stronger than before” and influenced the way they evolve their company. “What we found on TikTok was not just an Indian American community,” Ritika says. “It was a community interested in the culture

Mpox vaccine access expands in NS

Those who are eligible for the pre-exposure vaccination against mpox formerly known as monkeypox can access the vaccine at participating physician offices and pharmacies across Nova Scotia.

Appointments are set to start May 1st and patients can find more information and book appointments online.

Appointments with physicians can be booked directly office or by scheduling appointments directly with their doctor.

“By offering the vaccine in physician offices and the community pharmacy primary care clinics, we are providing more equitable access to those at highest risk of infection,” said Dr. Jesse Kancir, medical officer of health responsible for mpox. “While we do not have any known cases of mpox in the community, I’m encouraging everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated.

The vaccine Invamune is recommended by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) to be used as a prevention measure for those at the highest risk of infection and comes in two doses which are spread out by at least 28 days.

The pre-exposure vaccination program is only available to people who:

        1) Identify as a cisgender or transgender queer man, a two-spirit person or a non-binary person who has sexual contact with a cisgender or transgender queer man, a two-spirit person or a non-binary person and meets at least one of the following criteria:

  • two or more sexual partners since May 2022 as defined above, or is planning to
  • a diagnosis of a bacterial sexually transmitted infection since May 2022
  • attended, worked at or volunteered at an event/social venue for sexual contact, such as a bathhouse or sex club, since May 2022, or is planning to
  • had anonymous sex since May 2022, or is planning to
  • engaged as a worker or a client in sex work since May 2022, or is planning to.


        2) Have sexual contact with

Pilot who offered flights to women for medical care fired from seminary job | Abortion

About three weeks after the US supreme court last year struck down the federal right to abortion, Greg Williams, a volunteer pilot for a group that provides free flights to people who need to travel for medical care, posted a Facebook message.

“If any women need to make an unexpected trip from the south to, say, Illinois or New Mexico or Virginia for reasons that are none of my business, I can provide safe, private air transport that would get you where you need to go and back the same day at a price that will work for you,” Williams wrote on 28 June 2022.

Williams acknowledges the message mentioned an area which has largely outlawed abortion and three states which have acted to preserve access. The post did not explicitly mention abortion – because Williams’s day job was teaching Greek and Latin at a college for prospective Catholic priests near New Orleans.

The Benedictine-run St Joseph Seminary College has a policy against publicly expressing beliefs contrary to the established teachings of the Catholic church, which stridently opposes abortion. Despite the fact that a majority of Americans believe abortion should be legal in most or all cases, according to recent polling, Williams wanted to comply with school policy. It didn’t matter. The school fired him a week later.

“Your Facebook post publicly and deliberately advocated a position contrary to the official teaching of the Catholic Church,” said the termination letter that St Joseph’s rector, Gregory Boquet, gave Williams on 5 July. “The decision is to terminate your employment … effective immediately.”

Williams, 40, has no real legal recourse to compel St Joseph to rehire him, according to lawyers he consulted and attorneys interviewed by the Guardian. Louisiana is an at-will employment state, which means employers can dismiss workers for

Adolescent and young adult health


Survival chances for adolescents and young adults vary greatly across the world. In 2021, the probability of dying among those aged 10–24 years was highest in sub-Saharan Africa and lowest in Europe and Northern America. The average global probability of a 10-year-old dying before age 24 was about 6 times higher in sub-Saharan Africa than in North America and Europe.

Within the age group 10–24 years, mortality rates are lowest among adolescents aged 10–14, and highest among young adults aged 20–24 years. Females generally have lower mortality rates for these ages than males.

The patterns of death in those aged 10 to 24 years reflect the underlying risk profiles of the age groups, with those of 10–14-year-olds dominated by infectious diseases. Among older adolescents and young adults, a shift away from infectious diseases of childhood is seen, towards accidents and injuries, self-harm and interpersonal violence. Sex differences in mortality rates also become apparent in adolescence. Rates are higher for males from the conditions mentioned above along with collective violence and legal intervention (war/conflict). Maternal conditions become an increasingly important cause of death for young women in lower-income countries.

Main health issues

Many unintentional injuries such as road traffic and drowning are the leading cause of death and disability among adolescents.

  • Road traffic accidents

    In 2019, 115 000 adolescents (10–19 years) died as a result of road traffic accidentsMany of those who died were vulnerable road users, including pedestrians, cyclists or users of motorized two-wheelers.

    Injuries and violence fact sheet

  • Drowning

    Drowning is also among the top causes of death among adolescents; more than 30 000 adolescents, over three quarters of them boys, are estimated to have drowned in 2019.

    Drowning fact sheet

  • Violence

    Interpersonal violence is among the leading causes of death in adolescents and young people

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Opinion: The latest Supreme Court health care decision is a huge opportunity lost

Tony Fell is a former chair of the University Health Network and a fundraiser for the Cambie Clinic constitutional challenge.

The recent decision by the Supreme Court of Canada not to hear a constitutional challenge regarding surgical wait times in British Columbia is a travesty, a dereliction of duty and a huge opportunity lost. With all the turmoil in our hospitals and record surgical wait times, the case submitted by Dr. Brian Day and the Cambie Surgery Centre in B.C. was highly anticipated as a chance to fix a broken and costly system.

Chief Justice Richard Wagner and his fellow judges should understand that their refusal to hear this case (or even explain their rationale for the refusal) has cost the Supreme Court considerable public credibility and respect. Canadians rightly expect and deserve strong leadership from their highest court on major national issues. This cop-out makes it apparent we have a timid and politicized court, which does not augur well for the future of this country.

This decision enshrines a dual health care system in Canada: one for Quebec, with private insurance and care permitted by the Supreme Court’s Chaoulli decision in 2005; and one for the rest of Canada, with private insurance and treatment prohibited by federal and provincial law. How does the Supreme Court reconcile this?

It gets even worse. Under present federal and provincial laws, a private for-profit or not-for-profit surgical clinic in any province is not permitted to treat patients from that province, but can instead welcome and treat patients from any other province or from outside the country. Many Ontario patients cross over to Quebec for procedures and MRIs and thousands of Albertans go to B.C. for surgery. Private MRIs are legal in most provinces, but not in Ontario. How dysfunctional is that? It’s

Khartoum residents seek medical advice online as hospitals attacked

Issued on: Modified:

The World Health Organization has urged both sides in Sudan to pause fighting to allow people to get medical attention, as Khartoum’s residents have banded together on social media offering aid, advice and support as fighting between two rival factions within the military junta entered its sixth day. 

The WHO’s regional director, Ahmed Al-Mandhari on Thursday called for both sides in conflict to observe a in pause fighting to allow people receive medical attention and to open up a humanitarian passage for health workers, patients and ambulances.

This comes as people have been trapped inside their homes for days as intense street battles rage between Sudan’s rival generals. 

Meanwhile, Khartoum’s residents have reportedly banded together on social media offering aid, advice and support.

Online first aid, WhatsApp crowd-sourcing

WhatsApp groups crowd-source needs, while medical professionals upload first-aid video tutorials, and others in the city of more than five million people work together to provide any support they can.

Like many Sudanese barricaded in their homes – avoiding windows for fear of gunfire – Twitter user Mujtaba Musa turned to social media, asking over 200,000 followers to “share calls for help” to “try to connect those in need.”

Since fighting erupted on Saturday – with fighter jets launching air strikes in the city and artillery fire in densely populated areas – civilians have become increasingly desperate, with dwindling food supplies, power outages, and a lack of running water.

On Twitter, under the Arabic hashtags like #Khartoum_Needs, residents of each district have been mobilising support and solidarity.

On WhatsApp, hundreds of users joined a group to pool resources.

The messages are heart-breaking: Kholood needs baby formula, Hisham is looking for a car, and a third anonymous user pleads for a phone credit

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