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IN THE NEWS: Is the H1N1 flu pandemic over?

H1N1 risk may have passed
It's unlikely 2010 will bring a feared third wave of the H1N1 flu, said Dr Yves Bolduc, Quebec's health minister. "Compte tenu du taux de vaccination contre la grippe A (H1N1) et étant donné que les personnes qui ont eu la grippe sont maintenant protégées, nous considérons fort peu probable l'arrivée d'une troisième vague," he told La Presse. ("Considering the vaccination rate against the H1N1 flu and given that people who've already had the flu are now protected, we consider a third wave very unlikely.") [La Presse]

The national vaccination rate is between 40-45%, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. There are major variations among provinces, however: Quebec, the Atlantic provinces and the territories have all vaccinated greater than 50% of their populations while Ontario and the prairies and the west all fall below 50%. [Canadian Press]

The PHAC reports that the current death count from the H1N1 flu stands at 415 Canadians, with only six of those deaths occurring since December 30. [PHAC]

ON family health teams lucrative for MDs
An article in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that Ontario doctors who practise in a family health team model have seen their average income rise 40% since 2004, while the province's fee-for-service physicians have seen their average incomes stagnate. Preliminary research also shows the FHT model appears to have benefited patient care.

"Anecdotal information suggests that the first choice of Ontario’s family medicine residents is now to practice in FHTs," wrote the four Canadian authors. "Family physicians who were initially skeptical are now seeking to participate."

The article lauds the idea of FHTs functioning as medical homes for Ontario patients.

In addition, the article mentions, the number of medical students electing to specialize in family medicine in Ontario has risen from 25% to 39% since 2004. [NEJM] [CBC News]

Prorogation of Parliament delays passage of Bill C-6
The Governor General's recent decision to prorogue Parliament, at the Prime Minister's request, has resulted in the clearing of the House of Commons order paper: in other words, all the introduced legislation that was in the process of being debated and voted on is now, formally speaking, dead on the floor. That includes Bill C-6, the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act, which included many health regulatory measures. Bills that were canceled as a result or prorogation, however, can be reinstated when Parliament resumes sitting.

Of course, though, the delay of debate on the Consumer Product Safety Act is hardly the most important effect of the prorogation...

More news from across Canada
Thousands of Canadians, including physicians and academics, have voiced their opposition to the appointment of Pfizer VP Dr Bernard Prigent to the governing council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. [PharmaGossip blog]

The Canadian Medical Association's 2009 budget deficit will be smaller than projected, in part thanks to cuts made to the costly Canadian Medical Association Journal. [CMA News]

Dr Carolyn Bennett, the federal Liberal Party's health critic, wants to make sex toys safer. [Globe and Mail]

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  1. sharon15 January, 2010 9:22 AM

    RE: Organizational structures in Directional Planning and Operational Planning

    e.g. Flu pandemic reporting

    A virus doubling every four weeks has an increase of only 18 deaths in the last month... with no ? significant/ identified preventive measure ( vs. protective measure) impeding it's growth.

    In the exponential likely is that?

    RE: Pfizer on a council

    The key word here is " council ".
    Acquaint yourself with the differences in types of alliances ,their focus and impact ,and you will be calmer about this. likely is that?

    RE: FHT model

    Whatever it's present model is remains "ex"clusive in terms of a strategic investment approach ( building capacity) and a self-help mandate.
    To form the touted " diagonal "approach the broad service base must expand and be interdependent beyond the walls of " interdisciplinary".

    Multidisciplinary alliances ( yes, "alliances) must be made at the "partnering" levels of the organization to be considered as a participant in the "in"clusive model addressing the "social" determinants of health.

    If the FHT could embrace the scholarly proofs in "directional "planning and stop fretting over "operational" planning alone........ it could be a major integrator in population health.

    How likely is that?


    The real issue we face is our own sense of impotence as we embrace the " harm reduction" perspective in every "service-to-society" that we perform.
    e.g. let's make the sex toys safer because it is so much easier than helping a? normal sexual appetite be restored

    What do you think is "likely" to be next?

    Maybe it will be...... that those elements which undermine and deaden the genuine regard supporting human interraction ...... will enter your own personal sphere of influence......... even your own life....
    .....and there are no helps structured to heal it............

    What's that you say?'s already happened? .......:"likely" is past ?

    :( :( :( : ( (ad infinitum)