Our Commentaries

Our Commentaries

Our expert advisors have written opinion pieces and health articles on important health policy topics, published in leading media outlets across the country. We are making these commentaries and articles available to everyone, free of charge, with a Creative Commons license, so that you may use them in your publication or on your website. See also our Commentaries in French. Download our free eBooks — a compendium of our commentaries: Navigating the Evidence: Communicating Canadian Health Policy in the Media, Making Evidence Matter in Canadian Health Policy, and Canadian Health Policy in the News: Why Evidence Matters.

Evidence is important to us, and we are committed to getting the evidence right — even when it can be interpreted in a number of ways. If you feel we have not represented the evidence accurately or fairly in these opinion pieces, please let us know. Browse our Commentaries by category, below, or view them all here.

AGING POPULATION AND
ITS POTENTIAL IMPACT
HEALTHCARE COSTS AND SPENDING
  • Advanced directives for assisted-dying a risky proposition
    Advanced directives for assisted-dying a dangerous step
    By Harvey Chochinov

    The moment we are born, our lives take flight; and the longer we are airborne, the greater the chance of encountering turbulence along the way. While every flight is destined to land, some landings are harder to contemplate than others.

  • We must speak for those who can’t
    We must speak for those who can’t
    By Harvey Chochinov

    On June 6, the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision making physician-hastened death legal will come into effect. A parliamentary committee asked to help the government plot how that would roll out in Canada has made some far-reaching recommendations, well beyond what was contemplated by the court in Carter v. Canada.

  • Ten medical expenses you didn’t know were tax deductible
    These ten medical expenses could give you a tax break
    By Kathleen O'Grady

    As Canadians we like to take pride in our publicly funded healthcare system, but the truth is many of us – especially those with or caring for someone with disabilities or chronic conditions – pay out of pocket for a wide range of essential health services.

  • What can we learn from a basic income pilot
    What can we learn from a basic income pilot?
    By Laura Anderson and Danielle Martin

    The Basic Income Guarantee is having a moment. Hot on the heels of Quebec’s plans to work towards a basic income guarantee and a Globe and Mail Editorial Board endorsement came an announcement last Thursday of a pilot as part of Ontario’s provincial budget.

PRIVATE, FOR-PROFIT SOLUTIONS
TO FUNDING AND DELIVERY
HEALTH IS MORE THAN HEALTHCARE
  • Moving-forward-on-health-care-reform
    Moving forward on health care reform
    By Allan Maslove

    In the Speech from the Throne and since, the new Liberal government has clearly said it is ready to re-engage with the provinces and territories on health care. This is a welcome development.

  • Canadians should modernize not privatize medicare
    Canadians should modernize not privatize medicare
    By Bryan Thomas and Colleen Flood

    National Medicare Week has just passed, buoyed with optimism as a fresh-faced government takes the reins in Ottawa — elected partly on a promise of renewed federal leadership on health care. Yet these “sunny ways” are overcast by recent developments at the provincial level that entrench and legitimize two-tier care.

  • What can we learn from a basic income pilot
    What can we learn from a basic income pilot?
    By Laura Anderson and Danielle Martin

    The Basic Income Guarantee is having a moment. Hot on the heels of Quebec’s plans to work towards a basic income guarantee and a Globe and Mail Editorial Board endorsement came an announcement last Thursday of a pilot as part of Ontario’s provincial budget.

  • Why Canadians need to be having end-of-life conversations
    De l’importance d’une conversation sur les soins de fin de vie avec nos proches
    Par Michelle Howard

    Durant la période des vacances, beaucoup de gens ont probablement eu avec leurs proches des conversations sur des sujets importants. Il serait étonnant toutefois qu’ils aient discuté des dispositions à prendre si jamais ils ne pouvaient plus un jour s’exprimer ou prendre de décisions.

PATIENT FINANCING OF HEALTHCARE
(THE PATIENT PAYS)
MORE CARE IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER
SUSTAINABILITY WAITING FOR CARE
  • The inconsistencies of Canadian healthcare.
    The inconsistencies of Canadian healthcare
    By Robert Brown

    I spent my life teaching actuarial science at a university. As a result, I calculated lots of numbers: averages, expected values, variances. But, they were only numbers. What I didn’t see was the individual human story behind each calculation.

  • Is it fair to make a public appeal for a live organ donor
    Is it fair to make a public appeal for a live organ donor?
    By Jennifer Chandler

    The public response to the appeal on behalf of Eugene Melnyk, owner of the Ottawa Senators hockey team, for a liver donor has been a heart-warming demonstration of the generosity of our community. Fortunately, a donor was found and the transplant was performed in time to save his life.

PHARMACEUTICAL POLICY MENTAL HEALTH
  • Five ways we can reduce suicides in Canada
    Cinq propositions pour réduire le taux de suicide au Canada
    By Jitender Sareen and Cara Katz

    En dépit des grands titres récents sur le sujet, les taux de suicide et de tentative de suicide n’ont pas beaucoup bougé au Canada depuis plusieurs dizaines d’années (11 sur 100 000). Ce qui a changé, c’est le taux de suicide chez les militaires, qui connaît une augmentation après être resté stable durant des décennies.

  • Assisted suicide for those with mental illness a risky proposition
    Assisted suicide for those with mental illness a risky proposition
    By Harvey Max Chochinov

    Who but those who have experienced it can appreciate the soul crushing anguish of mental illness? Afflictions of the mind can be paralyzing and fundamentally change the way we perceive ourselves (I am worthless), anticipate the future (my prospects are hopeless), and experience the world (life is unfair and unforgiving). The combination of self-loathing, hopelessness and despair can tragically lead to suicide.

OBESITY INTERNATIONAL HEALTH SYSTEMS

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