Opinions

  • June 2014

  • May 2014

    • Harvey Chochinov

      Why we all need to have end of life conversations

      The last time I was in Israel, I went on some home visits with a palliative care physician in the town of Sfat near the Sea of Galilee. My colleague, a devout Jewish doctor, took me to several homes to offer advice on managing his […]

    • Gagan Dhaliwal

      Personalized medicine: behind the hype

      When the human genome was mapped in the 90s, everybody from scientists to Silicon Valley CEOs believed it would revolutionize medicine by making it personalized. This carried enormous medical and financial opportunities, as well as ethical and legal challenges. But after decades of research, it […]

    • Rajiv

      Complacency putting Canadian health care at risk

      As the United States attempts to overhaul health care and improve access for more of its citizens a US Senate committee recently met in Washington and invited several international experts to share perspectives on their own health care systems.  Toronto physician Dr. Danielle Martin very […]

    • Joshua Landy

      We are on the cusp of a mobile health revolution

      When I was a medical student in the mid-2000s, I witnessed the early phases of mobile apps designed to help deliver healthcare. They were mostly electronic books, in the form of preloaded web pages. We’ve come a long way: I’m now a practicing physician and […]

    • Aled Edwards

      Peering into peer-review – implications for web-enabled scientific debate

      Vaccines do not cause autism. Yet when one peer-reviewed paper suggested otherwise, on the basis of results that were both wrong and fraudulent, there were terrible consequences. It launched 15 years of unnecessary studies to confirm what we already knew – and sowed confusion, eliminated […]

  • April 2014

  • March 2014

    • Tackling poverty through medical education

      Poverty is a significant public health concern affecting approximately 10% of Canadians. Recommendations to eliminate poverty have focused on areas of income, housing, access to food, and early childhood development. Calls for government action and provision of resources to healthcare professionals have been issued. Notably, educating medical […]

    • Kieran Quinn healthydebate.ca blogger

      Gaps in health care for the chronically ill

      This is a story about Mr. D, a lovely 85-year-old gentleman who I cared for on our General Internal Medicine service. He suffered significant cognitive impairment due to both dementia and the deposition of protein in his brain caused by chronic inflammation (known as cerebral […]

    • Amy Katz

      Diabetes and the trouble with healthier lifestyles

      At the end of January, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) announced almost $10 million in new funding to address type 2 diabetes, with a focus on screening and the ‘promotion of healthier lifestyles.’ There is a lot to celebrate in this […]

    • Heather Murray

      Stranded in the Emergency Department

      It’s a weekend shift in a Canadian Emergency Department. On a stretcher lies a woman in her sixties. She has, just this week, been diagnosed with an advanced cancer. Her symptoms crept up on her, unnoticed or passed off as the result of inactivity during […]

    • Policy implications for the virtualization of health services

      Virtual care (where the provider and patient are separated in space and sometimes in time) is a natural next step in technological innovation for healthcare. Increasing care virtualization has the potential to improve quality of life for patients while increasing the healthcare system’s efficiency but […]

    • Loan deferral during residency: a win-win solution

      It is no secret that Canada suffers from an inequitable distribution of health professionals. A 2012 report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information revealed that 18% of Canadians live in rural and remote areas, yet only 8% of doctors live in these regions. The […]

  • February 2014

    • KathyKastner_

      The next generation of ePatients

      As with any parent whose child has a serious health condition, Amy Gleason is actively involved and ever watchful of her 15-year old daughter, Morgan, who has a life-threatening autoimmune condition called Juvenile Myositis. Amy and I are ePatients – the ‘e’ includes: being engaged, […]

    • Shawn Whatley

      When quality trumps service, patients lose out

      The Ontario government deserves applause for tackling global funding for hospitals. “Global budgets provide[d] little incentive for hospitals to focus on efficiency, innovation, improving access, coordinating care across facilities and sectors or improving quality.” In 2012, the Ontario Ministry of Health announced its commitment to […]

    • Amy Katz

      Let’s call heroin deaths what they are: preventable

      ‘Worldwide, overdose is the leading cause of avoidable death among people who use injection drugs.’ United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2013 In newspapers, on social media, and on tv, the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman is being framed as a tragedy. We […]

    • Rethinking health outcomes in the era of multiple concurrent chronic conditions

      Modern health care is very much concerned with outcomes. The language of outcomes is common  in policy development, clinical work, and research. For example, Health Quality Ontario states that the overall quality aims are: Better outcomes, better experience, better value for money. In the context […]

    • Jeremy Petch Healthy Debate Blogger

      Should Healthy Debate publish anonymous blog posts?

      Hello Healthy Debate community, Since launching the opinions section two years ago, we have published over 200 blogs from a wide range of people, including patients, front-line practitioners and health system leaders. In that time, we have never published an anonymous blog. Our current policy […]

    • Flanders_crop

      A paeditrician’s plea to the anti-vaccinationists

      The global public health success of vaccination is astounding. According to the World Health Organization, vaccinations save the lives of 2-3 million people worldwide each year and prevent millions of others from suffering and disability. Marvelous achievements from the use of vaccinations continue; just this […]

    • Kieran Quinn healthydebate.ca blogger

      Learning to choose wisely

      While on call on the internal medicine service at my hospital, I recently admitted a 47-year old woman overnight, who had increased swelling in her ankles and a fluid collection in her abdomen. After taking a thorough clinical history and performing a complete physical examination, […]



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