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Monday, November 24, 2008

What's in the news: Nov. 24 -- Alberta's "problem child," Rockin' Ron

A round-up of Canadian health news, from coast to coast to coast and beyond, for Monday, November 24.

The government of Newfoundland and Labrador has rescinded its demand for physician employees to sign a confidentiality agreement that could have prevented them from speaking out publicly if they see a problem with patient safety. Doctors had been refusing to sign the document after the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association recommended they not do so. The contract has been been amended to reflect the medical community's responsibility to advocate on their patients' behalf. [CBC News]

A medevac airplane pilot is being praised for managing to crash-land and evacuate his plane without any casualties in northern Manitoba on Saturday, after the plane caught fire in mid-air. The pilot, the co-pilot, the toddler patient and the patient's mother, and nurse all escaped from the crashed plane before it exploded. [Canwest News Service]

Alberta Health Minister Ron Liepert (or "Rockin' Ron" for short, in the Calgary Sun's opinion pages' inimitable shorthand) is in hot water for disclosing the name of a candidate who was not hired to serve on the province's new health administration board -- and with whom he just so happens to disagree politically: David Eggen, a former NDP representative and now the executive director of the anti-privatization Friends of Medicare organization. Mr Eggen has demanded an apology for Mr Liepert's decision to announce in the legislative assembly that Mr Eggen "was not among the best candidates." Typically, civil service applications are considered private. [CBC News] Mr Liepert is the Alberta legislature's "problem child," commented Paula Simons in the Edmonton Journal. "During question period, he leans and lounges in his chair, his body language telegraphing his boredom and impatience... As Alberta's health minister, he has a grown-up job to do. It's time for him to start doing it like a grown-up." [Edmonton Journal]

New Brunswick's centralization of its non-clinical hospital services -- such as laundry and IT -- is ramping up, and the health minister is already making very ambitious claims about projected savings. [Moncton Times & Transcript]

More than half of Canadian HIV/AIDS patients report suffering depression as a result of their disease and say their illness makes finding work more difficult, and 82% report that a serious stigma still accompanies their HIV-positive status, according to a new survey of Canadian patients called "HIV+25." [news release]

A massive WHO program to prevent the spread of lymphatic filariasis, in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, the Gates Foundation and various governments, will provide antiparasitic medicine to 500 million people this year. A new report of the success and cost-effectiveness of the initiative, which prevented 6.6 million cases of the disease in just seven years between 2000 and 2007, is good news in the ongoing effort to entirely eliminate the disease. [PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases] [Wired Science]

PEI's health minister was surprised to learn that his department has a policy in place that forces patients to pay for ambulance transfers between hospitals for testing if the trip involves an overnight stay. [The Guardian] Embarrassing news for Doug Currie, the health minister, but that was undeniably some great reporting by The Guardian.

A Quebec court is set to hear an assisted-suicide case that could set precedent. A 30-year-old man, Stephen Dufour, is charged with helping his uncle, who suffered from polio, hang himself. His uncle had tried to commit suicide before. If the verdict comes down as guilty, Mr Dufour could be jailed for up to 14 years. [Canadian Press]

A University of Guelph study on rats suggested that methadone may help treat cocaine addiction, not just heroin addiction. [Ottawa Citizen]

What is life like for med students contemplating becoming abortion providers? [Washington Post]

In Africa, rats are being trained to detect tuberculosis and land mines, just using their noses. [Boston Globe]

After a heated argument about wait times and proper decorum with an opposition MLA in the legislature the previous day, Nova Scotia Health Minister Chris D'Entremont arrived at his office on Friday morning and wasn't too pleased about what he found. "They put a baby bottle and a soother on my desk," he told the Halifax Chronicle-Herald. I am trying to keep [debate] at a higher level. They are trying to keep it at a lower level." According to the newspaper, Mr D'Entremont first suspected the man he argued with of committing the foul deed, but later accused another Liberal of doing it. They both denied any involvement in the heinous crime. [Halifax Chronicle-Herald]

1 comment:

  1. RE: Decentralising non-clinical service

    IT ...absolutely ... crucial, in fact.

    Laundry, housekeeping, lab service, ( don't even think it!

    There is a move to regulate the unregulated sector companioned with the development of local "care clusters". Subjective local interest and skill in ensuring safety to client in these times is crucial!


    If you are following the IT forecasting arguments ( see work of David Dilts, Vanderbilt U )you are looking at measurable variables used that in the near future will not apply.


    IT... yes ... coordination here generates funds for community care.

    laundry, housekeeping, lab NO ( a thousand times NO). They are crucial for providing expertise and functioning service to newly regulated community service.

    Expand their service package.