Ovarian Cancer Canada's latest advocacy tool is a video campaigning for better screeening tests for ovarian cancer. Production of the video has been motivated by the fact that, to date, no single test can reliably detect ovarian cancer before the onset of symptoms (or before symptoms are very noticeable). 70% of women diagnosed with the condition die within five years, because they are diagnosed too late. Early detection allows up to 90% of women to survive. The video calls on the public to donate to medical research, with the aim of developing an early-screening process for ovarian cancer.
In the wake of 'Obamacare', Americans furious with the result are Twittering of plans to move to Canada. Despite having the sort of universal healthcare system espoused by the President, that country is currently looking more appealing to these Twitterers than a United States after its new healthcare package has been installed in 2014. Indeed, Russ Limbaugh, an American talk-show host and political commentator, argued that Obama’s Affordable Care Act is likely to be “the largest tax increase in the history of the world.”
Remarks made in June 2012 on the subject of Canadian healthcare include the following:
* A timely report published in late June 2012 by the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation and the Canadian Nurses Association, and written by two academics from Canada’s McGill University, ‘Better Value: An Analysis of the Impact of Current Healthcare System Funding-and-Financing Models, and the Value of Health and Healthcare in Canada’, concludes that ...
- Canadians are increasingly concerned about the future viability of their public healthcare system, though they remain highly supportive of the principle of universal healthcare.
- Per-capita spending on healthcare in Canada was more than 50% higher in 2010 than in 1996. The extra investment in healthcare has had some positive consequences, when judged by the public—though the Canadian public is also very insistent that the money be well spent and carefully directed. ‘Value is not simply about spending more’.
* One arthritis patient group from Canada commented in a PatientView report due to be published in early July 2012 ...
- The Canadian healthcare system “espouses the importance of chronic care, but still puts an inordinate amount of resources into acute care.”
* Tim Shufelt notes in an article published June 19th 2012 in the Ottawa Citizen, and entitled, ‘How the productivity of Canada’s healthcare stacks up to that of the US’ ...
- Canadians pay much less per capita on healthcare than Americans, while ranking higher among the most common measures of human health.
* On the other hand, the latest Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey, published June 27th 2012, found that ...
- 51% of Canadians think they will continue to have access to their employer's healthcare benefits after they retire (even though they will not).
So, should US citizens migrate north?
The Health Council of Canada, a government-funded independent national agency that reports on the progress of improvements to the national healthcare system of Canada, has released a report, Self-management support for Canadians with chronic health conditions: a focus for primary healthcare, which explores how helping patients to self-manage their conditions can improve health outcomes. Many patients struggle to self-manage, and could benefit from coaching, education and support given by healthcare providers. The report elaborates on how primary healthcare providers can better assume this support role for patients. The report emphasises that chronic disease costs Canada more than $90 billion a year in lost productivity and healthcare bills, and that patients with chronic conditions consume more healthcare resources and are hospitalised more often than many other types of patients.
Canada’s Change Foundation, an independent healthcare think tank, has released a report, Loud and Clear, in which older people with chronic health conditions (and their unpaid caregivers) describe the experience of navigating Ontario’s healthcare system. One person comments in the report: "The problem is that no one seems to understand the system. There’s no system map to explain how it works to caregivers or people using it for the first time. Without such a map, you have no idea how it works. People explained parts of the system, but not the overall system." The PDF of the report (and a video about the report) can be found at the above link.
Advance Care Planning Day — a day for Canadians to talk to family members and friends about their wishes for end-of-life personal care preferences (just in case one of them should ever become incapable of consenting to, or refusing, treatment or other care).
The Mood Disorders Society of Canada (MDSC) believes that Canadians living with depression will see great benefits from their federal government's commitment to battle depression-related conditions and issues. In the federal budget tabled March 29th 2012, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty promised to invest $(CAD)5 million to begin the creation of a national network of patient-focused depression research and intervention centres, and will devote another $200,000 towards anti-stigma mental health training for healthcare professionals. The network of centres will support 80-plus researchers and clinicians specializing in depression. These professionals will collaborate with other research agencies and the government, and will develop a comprehensive research plan that focuses on suicide prevention, and on early detection and intervention in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) .