Tag: National

SHA embarking on national tour to promote health-care careers in Sask.

SHA embarking on national tour to promote health-care careers in Sask.

Health Minister Everett Hindley says Saskatchewan’s Health Human Resources Action Plan has seen success in the year since it first launched. (Lisa Schick/980 CJME)

As Saskatchewan struggles with an ongoing shortage of health-care workers, two agencies are about to embark on a national tour to promote employment opportunities in the province.

From Sept. 22 through Oct. 6, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) and the newly established Saskatchewan Healthcare Recruitment Agency will be sending a delegation to Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.

According to a release from the provincial government, the goal of the tour is “to promote employment opportunities, benefits and incentives available in the province.”

The delegation will be meeting with health-care workers, students and post-secondary schools in the five provinces, including two large career fairs and multiple meet-and-greet events in centres including Toronto, Montreal, St. John’s, Charlottetown and Halifax.

The Saskatchewan government said current trends show that young adults, families and new graduates are interested in moving to or returning to the province as they seek out affordable living, opportunities for full-time work and higher pay.

Health Minister Everett Hindley said there has never been a better time to come to Saskatchewan for work in the health-care field.

“As part of our recruitment efforts, we will continue to promote our province as the great place it is, offering a lower cost of living, excellent wages and benefits, plus strong health care teams and wonderful communities to join,” Hindley said in a statement.

Health Human Resources plan hits one-year milestone

September marks the first anniversary of Saskatchewan’s $60-million Health Human Resources Action Plan, the aim of which was to add 1,000 health-care workers to the workforce over the next few years.

Tim McLeod, Saskatchewan’s minister of mental health and addictions, said the plan

COVID booster messaging ‘truly confusing’. What the latest guidance says – National

With the arrival of the latest COVID-19 variants within the country and the looming flu season on the horizon, many Canadians may be wondering if they should get their booster shot immediately or wait until the newest vaccine formulations arrive.

The updated booster shots are expected to roll out in the fall but are still pending approval by Health Canada. The new vaccines are also tailored to the dominant XBB.1.5 Omicron subvariants that are currently circulating in the country.

Although bivalent COVID-19 vaccines are currently available in Canada, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) previously said in July that the fall boosters will target more recent, immune‑evasive SARS-CoV-2 variants.

Some health experts say you might be better off waiting until the updated vaccines are available, while others say not to wait. This leaves Canadians grappling with a crucial decision: whether to get their booster shot immediately or hold off.

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Click to play video: 'COVID-19 cases are starting to rise as students return to school'

COVID-19 cases are starting to rise as students return to school

“It is it is well and truly confusing,” Kerry Bowman, a professor of bioethics and global health at the University of Toronto, said. “I think we’re getting an incredible lack of clarity as to what should occur. I wish we had stronger guidelines from public health. I feel like we’re on our own on this one.”

Adding to the confusion, he said, is the fact that some people have said they will get both shots, one now and the reformulated version when it becomes available. However, this approach is discouraged, Bowman said, emphasizing that it is advisable to wait at least six months between vaccine shots.

Here’s what health officials are saying about the fall booster shot.

In its latest guidance on July 11, “NACI recommends a dose of the new formulation of

Agency releases snapshot of national health care system – with notable gaps

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The Lakeshore General Hospital in Montreal on June 1. Quebec is not participating in a new Canadian Institute for Health Information report that provided a snapshot of the state of health care in Canada’s provinces.Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

Canada’s health information agency has released its first snapshot of the national data available to begin assessing a federal health care plan unveiled earlier this year – but Quebec’s figures are conspicuously absent from the effort.

The province’s refusal to participate in the new Canadian Institute for Health Information report, published Wednesday, underscores the fact that the jurisdiction is the only one that hasn’t signed a bilateral health care deal with Ottawa.

While negotiations continue between the federal and Quebec governments, CIHI had to settle for gathering existing data from the other provinces and territories to serve as a rough starting point for the national health system performance data it plans to produce on four priority topics, including primary care and mental-health care.

“At CIHI, we’ve had excellent working relationships with Quebec and are able to include Quebec in many reports that we do,” said Kathleen Morris, the agency’s vice-president for research and analysis. “In this particular instance, because Quebec has yet to sign the agreement, they’ve asked to be excluded from this report, but it’s entirely possible that they could be part of future reporting.”

The new CIHI report stems from a health care funding offer that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau extended to the premiers in February. The federal government proposed sending a total of $196-billion to the provinces and territories earmarked for health over the next decade, a figure which included $25-billion for bespoke agreements tailored to the needs of each province and a $2-billion unconditional top-up to the Canada Health Transfer

Waiting periods for counselling in N.B. 3 times the national average: data – New Brunswick

A snapshot report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information shows that only 60 per cent of Canadians reported their health was good, compared with 72 per cent just two years ago.

Data shows that the Atlantic provinces reported a higher proportion of the population saying primary care providers weren’t taking new patients.

The report also showed New Brunswick has an average wait time of 66 days for mental health counselling, three times the national average, which is 22 days.

It comes against the backdrop of both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick’s health-care systems facing enormous strain and staffing shortages.

“These are long-standing challenges for the health-care system, it’ll take time for the data to catch up with the efforts and the measurement to change,” said Kathleen Morris, vice-president of research and analysis with CIHI.

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She said some of the numbers are significant, including that 27 per cent of Canadians diagnosed with a mood or anxiety disorder have not had their mental health needs met.

“It’s a tough situation,” she said in an interview Wednesday. “We know mood and anxiety disorders are a big piece of mental health but they are not the only illnesses … and they are looking to try and increase the range of mental health conditions.”

The report also showed there was 13 per cent reduction in surgeries in New Brunswick during the first two-and-a-half years of COVID-19.

It was lower in Nova Scotia at nine per cent.

Alexandra Rose with the Nova Scotia Health Coalition said this has all led to a compounded strain on the health-care system.

She said it cannot keep pace with the aging population and the population that is now seeing health decline in addition to a global pandemic.

“It’s put a massive strain on an already

Do health care deals work? Feds overhauling data collection to help answer – National

In medicine, before a doctor treats a patient’s illness, they first try to get a sense of the person’s health.

They collect information on the symptoms, run tests and blood work and gather whatever details they can.

That way, they’ll know whether or not the medicine has worked.

It’s called establishing a baseline, and policy experts do the same thing to figure out if their latest strategy has actually fixed the problem.

When it comes to fixing Canada’s ailing health-care systems, governments have often failed to set that baseline – so it’s difficult to know how well the treatment has worked, said Haizhen Mou, a professor with University of Saskatchewan Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy.

She launched a research project to study whether past health accords between federal and provincial governments have made meaningful differences in the quality and availability of health care in Canada, but ran into trouble almost immediately.

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“What I’m trying to figure out is whether we can find comparable data to conduct a meaningful evaluation of the impact of those health accords,” Mou said.

“So far, the answer is no.”

Click to play video: 'Premiers agree to accept Ottawa’s health funding offer: ‘A step in the right direction’'

Premiers agree to accept Ottawa’s health funding offer: ‘A step in the right direction’

Successive federal governments have attempted to measure the impact of the cash they inject into provincial and territorial health systems over the years by demanding reports on specific indicators. Every new deal has led to incremental improvements in health-data collection over the years, said Mou.

This time, the government is looking to create a complete picture of the system by overhauling the way Canada collects and shares health data.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered provinces and territories $46 billion in new spending over the next 10 years to address the health crisis that unfolded in the

Maintaining a Healthy Weight | National Institute on Aging

Many factors can affect your weight, including your genes, age, gender, lifestyle, family habits, culture, sleep, and even where you live and work. Some of these factors can make it hard to maintain or achieve a healthy weight. Regardless, following a nutritious eating pattern and exercising regularly can help keep your body as healthy as possible as you age. Read on to learn why weight may change as you get older, why it’s important to aim for a healthy weight, and what you can do to help meet your goals.

Why does weight change as we age?

As we age, metabolism — how the body gets energy from food — can change. This means that some older adults must become more active or eat fewer calories to maintain or achieve their ideal weight.

Other older adults may lose weight unintentionally. This can happen if you have less of an appetite, difficulty leaving the house to buy food, pain when chewing or swallowing, or forget to eat.

Why should older adults maintain a healthy weight?

Keeping your weight in the normal range is an important part of healthy aging. As in other stages of life, elevated body mass index (BMI) in older adults can increase the likelihood of developing health problems. These include heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes. Losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight can help decrease these risks.

Being underweight also increases your chance of developing health problems.

Race-based data can help address health inequities in Canada: experts – National

All Canadian jurisdictions should routinely collect data on racial and Indigenous identity to help address inequities in health care, and the best way to do that is during the health card application or renewal process, a group of experts says.

Dr. Andrew Pinto, the lead author of the commentary published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, said Black and Indigenous patients have less access to care and worse outcomes but allowing them to voluntarily provide identity data could help track racism in the health-care system. He said it would also help monitor any progress toward addressing stereotypes that lead to poorer care for some people.

Click to play video: 'Medical experts call for race-based health data amid ongoing discrimination against patients'

Medical experts call for race-based health data amid ongoing discrimination against patients

“It creates a foundation to say, ‘We need to narrow these gaps and develop tailored programs and services,’ ” said Pinto, founder of the non-profit Upstream Lab based at the MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

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“In Canada, we just lack that data in many, many ways.”

Many racialized communities, which have higher rates of some chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer, have called for race-based data to gain insights into contributing factors such as poverty.

Click to play video: 'Addressing gaps in Black health care'

Addressing gaps in Black health care

Last fall, Nova Scotia became the first province to start collecting race-based data with input from groups including the Health Association of African Canadians, the United African Canadian Women’s Association and the Iranian Cultural Society of Nova Scotia. Residents can provide the information when they register for aprovincial health card or when they renew it every four years. Nova Scotia’s Department of Health and Wellness said residents can also provide the data any time as part of the province’s Fair Care Project.


Shopping Shein? What to know about the fast-fashion brand’s so-called ‘dark sides’ – National

If you’re a regular online shopper — especially if you’re under the age of 30 or so — you’ve probably seen the name Shein, and might have bought an outfit or two from the retailer.

Founded in China in 2008 by entrepreneur Chris Xu and now based in Singapore, Shein has taken the fashion world by storm.

The company is well-known on apps such as TikTok and Instagram, where generation Z shoppers will show off their #SheinHaul — a collection of clothes ordered from the online-only retailer at deeply discounted prices.

Women’s tops advertised on the Shein Canada website, for example, are often priced under $10 and sometimes as low as $5. A flurry of banners advertise steep sales and discounts on shipping — up to 90 per cent off for an extended May long weekend sale, for instance.

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Shein’s direct-to-consumer model thrived during the COVID-19 pandemic, analysts say, as brands with physical storefronts were forced to shutter during lockdowns while e-commerce boomed.

Click to play video: 'In a post-pandemic world, will Canadians ever go back to shopping malls?'

In a post-pandemic world, will Canadians ever go back to shopping malls?

While little is known for sure about the size of its business, a Financial Times report from February says the company pegged its internal sales figures at US$22.7 billion in a recent presentation, putting the company on par with — if not outpacing — fashion giants such as Zara and H&M.

Shein planted roots in Canada last November, opening up a 170,000-square-foot warehouse with corporate offices in Markham, Ont.

Long heralded as a disruptor for its online-only model, Shein has also started toying with pop-up storefronts, potentially bringing its brand to a wider, in-person audience.

Reuters reported in March that Shein is gearing up for a public offering this year, citing multiple unnamed sources, as it sets even more ambitious

Amid controversy, Ottawa County health department wins national, state awards

OTTAWA COUNTY, MI — Amid public backlash and lawsuits, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health has won both national and state awards for its public health emergency and disaster response planning.

The health department announced last week it was the recipient of the Jean Chabut Health Policy Champion Award from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. OCDPH also received recognition for its ability to plan for, respond to, and recover from public health emergencies by the National Association of County and City Health Officials and Project Public Health Ready.

This is the second consecutive time the county’s health department was recognized by Project Public Health Ready and is one of just eight local health departments recognized in the country for its emergency preparedness in 2022. The OCDPH was also recognized from 2017-2021 for its preparedness, including for the COVID-19 pandemic.

To be recognized by the national organization, the health department had to prove it has a coordinated emergency response plan in place, along with the appropriate staff training needed to protect community health.

Related: Health officer asks judge for longer protection from Ottawa County firing her

“This honor is exceedingly well-deserved because it reflects tremendous effort, dedication, creativity and cooperation on the part of our entire team of experts,” Adeline Hambley, Ottawa County administrative health officer, said in a prepared statement. “I am very proud our team has been recognized for the second time by PPHR for our high level of preparedness. We will continue to improve our ability to quickly and effectively respond to future public health emergencies.”

During 2022, the OCDPH responded to a multistate E. coli outbreak, an Ebola outbreak and Avian influenza. In recent years, the health department also responded to Eastern Equine Encephalitis, a Legionnaire’s disease investigation at an Ottawa County hotel,

Will Health Canada update site with new alcohol guidance? Duclos won’t say – National

Researchers behind the latest guidance on drinking alcohol want Health Canada to update findings on its website to inform the public about safe levels of consumption.

And federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos agrees Canadians should have access to that “important piece of advice.”

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) released a Health Canada-funded report in January that says scientific evidence from around the world suggests no amount of alcohol is safe and low-risk is defined as two drinks per week, instead of two drinks per day, based on its previously recommended limits from 2011. But the old information remains on the federal agency’s site.

Read more:

A drink a day won’t lead to earlier death — but it won’t boost your health either: study

Duclos said people need access to the latest, robust data online to make decisions about drinking and their well-being.

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“I think every Canadian deserves to know what the experts believe,” he said in an interview. “In the end, it’s for people to decide. They need to have easy access to the type of information that matters to them.”

However, Duclos said he could not say if the site would be updated. He deferred to Mental Health and Addictions Minister Carolyn Bennett, but a spokeswoman for her said the minister was not available for comment.

Click to play video: '‘Beerflation’: Canada’s federal alcohol tax expected to rise April 1'

‘Beerflation’: Canada’s federal alcohol tax expected to rise April 1

In a statement, Bennett’s office said the government will “continue to engage Canadians on policies to address alcohol-related harms and to determine best approaches to disseminate information on risks related to alcohol use.”

“We believe it is essential to have this work done before proceeding to finalizing specific guidance tools and methods of communication.”

However, Bennett has not committed to mandating warning labels on

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