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: 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
  • Is it Time to Allow Assisted Suicide?
    Is it time to allow assisted suicide?
    By Harvey Max Chochinov and Balfour M. Mount

    This week, the Supreme Court of Canada has been hearing an appeal by the BC Civil Liberties Association that could grant terminally ill Canadians the right to assisted suicide. With this impending ruling and the passing of Bill 52 in Quebec (Medical Aid in Dying) and rumblings from parliament of another private members bill on assisted suicide, Canada is at a crossroads.

  • Canada relying too heavily on unpaid caregivers — at a cost
    Canada relying too heavily on unpaid caregivers — at a cost
    By Nicole F. Bernier

    The unexpected and largely unreported good news about homecare in this country is that the vast majority of Canadians who receive home help or homecare for a chronic health condition are getting all the services they need.

  • New hospital funding model is a leap of faith
    New hospital funding model is a leap of faith
    By Karen S. Palmer and Gordon Guyatt

    Most Canadians probably don’t realize that health care in Canada is quietly undergoing a major transformation in funding that could significantly impact patients. Three provinces are implementing a new funding model for hospitals and other provinces are watching with interest.

  • Why do we have so few midwives in Canada?
    Why do we have so few midwives in Canada?
    By Ivy Lynn Bourgeault

    I once interviewed a midwife from the UK who questioned why it is that we are so unique when it comes to birthing in Canada. She said, “it is not like you Canadians have maple syrup coming out of your breasts.” It may not be maple syrup flavoured breast milk that makes us unique, but what does make us stand out is the fact that we are one of a few nations that has so few births attended by midwives.

PRIVATE, FOR-PROFIT SOLUTIONS
TO FUNDING AND DELIVERY
HEALTH IS MORE THAN HEALTHCARE
  • ederal government moves to strip power from top public health scientist
    Federal government moves to strip power from top public health scientist
    By Colleen M. Flood and Steven J. Hoffman

    Buried in the current omnibus budget bill being studied by Parliament is a plan to demote the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada. He will no longer hold a deputy minister rank, he will have no direct line to the federal minister of health, he will be subservient to a bureaucratic agency president and he will have no secure public funding.

  • The Canadian doctor who prescribes income to treat poverty
    The Canadian doctor who prescribes income to treat poverty
    By Trudy Lieberman

    AToronto doctor named Gary Bloch has developed a poverty tool for medical practitioners. It helps assess what patients might need other than prescriptions for the newest drugs; it zooms in on the social determinants of health — food, housing, transportation — all poverty markers linked to bad health and poor health outcomes.

PATIENT FINANCING OF HEALTHCARE
(THE PATIENT PAYS)
MORE CARE IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER
SUSTAINABILITY WAITING FOR CARE
  • Encore une réforme !
    Quebec health reform Bill 10 puts Health Minister at centre
    By François Béland

    Quebec has begun the process of reforming its beleaguered health care system yet again with the introduction of Bill 10. But will Bill 10 fulfill its promises of reconfiguring the organization and governance of Quebec’s health and social services?

  • Voir clairement
    Seeing healthcare clearly
    By Noralou Roos

    I had cataract surgery last year — a terrifying prospect for a visual person. I love art and ocean views, and I was nervous about anyone working on my eyes. I delayed surgery a couple of times but finally committed. As it turned out, my surgery went fine. In fact, I loved that I could see colours vividly again. Our health system made that happen

  • La population canadienne réclame des services de santé en ligne
    Canadians want patient online healthcare options
    By Jennifer Zelmer

    Eight in ten Canadian adults want online access to their own health information yet fewer than one in 10 currently have it, so says a new study published in Healthcare Papers.

  • Why you must see your doctor after a trip to the ER
    Why you must see your doctor after a trip to the ER
    By Michael J. Schull

    Television shows have popularized the theatrical entrance into the hospital emergency room: patients racing down hallways on gurneys with worried doctors and nurses running alongside -- great drama. How most patients leave the emergency room isn’t quite as dramatic, but the facts tell a good news story.

PHARMACEUTICAL POLICY MENTAL HEALTH
OBESITY INTERNATIONAL HEALTH SYSTEMS
  • Sharma_Pay as you weigh_Apr_13_11515696
    Pay as you weigh an unfair pricing strategy
    By Arya Sharma

    This week the wires were active with suggestions that people with obesity pay more for airline travel. This discussion was prompted by a Samoan airline announcing that they would begin charging passengers by the pound.

  • Millar__obesity action Feb_2013_5106319
    It’s time for government action on obesity
    By John Millar

    You’ve heard it already: obesity is epidemic in Canada and is contributing to an increased prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer and other chronic conditions.

Browse All Commentaries View French Commentaries

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