Tag: National

As national measles vaccine shortage extends another month, some travel to U.S.

A national shortage of measles vaccines will continue for at least another month.

That means most people born before 1970 won’t be able to follow public health advice and get a shot before travel outside Canada — unless they cross the border to get the shot.

Some New Brunswickers have been doing just that, according to Joleen Fowler, a pharmacy technician at Walgreens in Calais, Maine.

“We’ve had a few people come over and ask, you know, if they were able to get it from us, and we were able to oblige,” she said.

Merck, Canada’s supplier, had expected the shortage of its MMR II vaccine, for measles, mumps and rubella, for the private market such as travel clinics, to end by April 19, but now lists May 15 as the estimated end date on Health Canada’s Drug Shortages website.

Merck has also posted an anticipated shortage of its ProQuad vaccine from April 26 until Aug. 30. ProQuad is used for the prevention of measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox in children between 12 months and 12 years old.

An increase in demand for measles vaccines, due to a rise in cases and outbreaks across the country and the world, led to the shortage, Merck Canada said in an email to CBC News Friday.

Remaining doses of the company’s measles vaccines are being reserved for publicly funded childhood immunization programs.

Working to ensure consistent supply for public programs

Asked whether Merck still expects to be able to fully meet the demands of these public immunization programs, the company replied via email: “We continue to work diligently with all relevant stakeholders, including provincial and federal health authorities, to provide a consistent supply of MMR®II vaccines in a timely manner.

“Our priority remains firmly focused on ensuring the availability of this vaccine to

Horizon’s target for reduced ER wait times is 4 times national guideline

Horizon Health Network is working to reduce emergency department wait times, with a special focus on urgent cases like Darrell Mesheau, who died in 2022 after he waited seven hours to see a doctor at the Fredericton hospital’s ER, a coroner’s inquest heard earlier this week.

Susan McCarron, clinical director of Horizon’s emergency departments in the Fredericton region, testified the goal is to get wait times for patients triaged as being Level 3 down to 120 minutes or less this year.

She did not specify if she was referring to the the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital, all Fredericton region hospitals, or all Horizon hospitals — and Horizon did not respond to requests to clarify.

Either way, Horizon’s objective is at least four times longer than the national guideline. The Canadian Emergency Department Triage and Acuity Scale calls for Level 3 patients to be seen by a doctor within 30 minutes.

Patients assessed at this level have “conditions that could potentially progress to a serious problem requiring emergency intervention,” according to the guidelines.

These can include everything from head injury and chest pain, to asthma and vomiting, the guidelines indicate.

A bar graph illustrating average wait times for Level 3 patients by month at Horizon ERs in the Moncton, Saint John and Miramichi regions and in total, and a line chart illustrating trends over time.
In February, the most recent figures available, the average wait time for Level 3 patients at Horizon regional hospital emergency departments, after being triaged, was 180 minutes, or three hours. (Horizon Health Network)

Level 3 patients “represent most of the patients presenting for care to the emergency department,” according to Horizon’s performance dashboard.

Horizon spokesperson Kris McDavid told CBC News no one was available for an interview and did not provide any comments about why its target wait time for Level 3 patients is so much longer than the national guideline or how it was set.

According to a trends chart on Horizon’s performance dashboard website, the last time Level

Monroe County Health Department observes National Public Health Week

MONROE — The Monroe County Health Department is celebrating National Public Health Week through April 7.

“It is a time to recognize the contributions of public health and emphasize the programs and issues important to improving the health of a community,” the health department said in a news release.

All this week, the health department will offer health tips and highlight some of the services it offers to Monroe County. It also will feature local staff on its Facebook and Instagram pages.

The topic for Monday was Public Health. “Public health goes beyond individual healthcare; it’s about clean water, safe food and healthy neighborhoods,” the health department said.

Community recycling is one of the programs offered by the Monroe County Health Department.

The topic for Tuesday was the Community Recycling Program, which offers free recycling and disposal options for residents.

Today’s topic is National Walking Day. “Walking is a free, simple way to boost immunity, reduce stress, improve heart health and strengthen bones and muscles,” the health department said. For a list of community walking trails, visit tinyurl.com/BeActiveCountyMap.

Thursday’s topic is Personal Health Division, which offers immunizations, maternal infant home visits, chronic disease management for children, testing and treatment for infectious diseases and reproductive health care.

Subscribe Now:For all the latest local developments, breaking news and high school sports content.

Friday’s topic is Hearing & Vision Program, which offers regular screenings for preschool and school-age children in partnership with all local school districts.

Saturday’s topic is Environmental Health. “The division routinely inspects restaurants, pools and campgrounds; tests drinking and surface water for contaminants; and traps mosquitoes and ticks to test for diseases,” the health department said.

Sunday’s topic is the Emergency Preparedness Program, which “develops and conducts training exercises with local partners to assure that Monroe County can adequately respond to any public health emergency situation,” the health department said.

“We’re encouraging

Would you cross the border for health care? 42% Canadians say yes in poll – National

Amid Canada’s ongoing battle with prolonged emergency room wait times and staffing challenges, a new poll finds that many are willing to journey southward in pursuit of timely health care, even if it means paying out of pocket.

The Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News found that 42 per cent of respondents would go to the United States and personally pay for more routine health care if needed. That is up 10 percentage points compared with January 2023.

And 38 per cent of respondents said they would travel to the U.S. and personally pay for emergency care (up nine points from a year ago).

Click to play video: 'Ontario signs on to $3.1B health-care deal with federal government'

Ontario signs on to $3.1B health-care deal with federal government

“I think the increase is happening because of the increasing level of frustration that Canadians have in the health-care system,” Sean Simpson, vice-president of Ipsos Public Affairs, told Global News.

Story continues below advertisement

“It’s not the quality of care that that people are upset about, it is the timely access to care, meaning wait times in emergency rooms, wait times to see specialists, to get appointments, for screening. As a result, we have a significant chunk of the population say if they can get that service elsewhere, such as the United States, they may consider doing so.”

The Ipsos polling comes as provinces continue to struggle with shortages of family physicians, escalating wait times for surgeries and escalation of emergency room backlogs.

Speaking at a media conference Monday, Health Minister Mark Holland was questioned about Canadians’ inclination to seek medical treatment in the U.S. He responded that “unequivocally that private care is not the answer.”

Click to play video: 'New IPSOS polls paints bleak healthcare picture'

New IPSOS polls paints bleak healthcare picture

“Going and paying your way out of your circumstance creates a terrible malady in our system. Because what it means

Virginia’s Youngkin aims to bolster mental health care, part of national focus after the pandemic

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — John Clair, the police chief of a small Appalachian town in southwest Virginia, spends his days consumed by a growing problem: the frequency with which his officers are tapped to detain, transport and wait in hospitals with people in the throes of a mental health crisis.

Officers from Clair’s 21-member Marion Police Department crisscross the state to deliver patients for court-ordered treatment, sometimes only to discover the hospital where they were sent has no available beds. Patients end up boarding in waiting rooms or emergency rooms, sometimes for days on end, while under the supervision of Clair’s officers.

It’s a problem for law enforcement agencies around Virginia, one that advocates, attorneys and leaders like Clair say ties up policing resources and contributes to poor patient outcomes. In the past five years, these types of transports have become the largest single category of case the Marion department handles.

“We are against the wall,” said Clair, an Army veteran and former lay pastor who sometimes shuttles patients himself, and did so last month on a nearly 15-hour round trip to a coastal city on the other side of the state.

The problem underscores a widely held consensus that Virginia’s mental health care system is in urgent need of reform, due to what Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration says is an overreliance on hospitalization at a time of growing need.

About a year ago, Youngkin, a Republican, rolled out an ambitious initiative that aims to transform the way psychiatric care is delivered by creating a system that allows people to get the treatment they need without delay, in their own community and not necessarily in the confines of a hospital, easing the burden on both patients and law enforcement.

While Virginia’s struggles may be particularly acute, Youngkin is not alone

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.

Story continues below advertisement

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

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

Open this photo in gallery:

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.

Story continues below advertisement

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.

Story continues below advertisement

“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

Back To Top