Managing Chronic Diseases

Sick patients continue to face challenges in accessing primary care

Sick Patients Continue to Face Challenges in Accessing Primary Care

Improving access to primary care has been a key priority of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for the past decade.  The number of Ontarians who have a regular family doctor has increased dramatically. However, patients who are chronically ill continue to have problems accessing primary care. More family doctors and more rostered

Did mammography save her life?

Did Mammography Save Her Life?

Some breast cancers detected by screening mammography are cured and would have led to death had they not been detected early. Other breast cancers detected by screening can be treated just as effectively if diagnosed later, may not have needed treatment at all, or may be so advanced that treatment does not prevent death from

What is driving health care costs?

Health Care Cost Drivers

A recent report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information provides information about the major drivers of health care costs in the past decade, which include growing salaries for health care workers and greater intensity of treatment.  The report suggests that the aging population is not a major contributor to rising health care costs. These findings clash

Need & access to bariatric surgery in Ontario

The frequency of obesity has skyrocketed across Canada, and its treatment is a major challenge to the health care system.  Bariatric surgery is an effective treatment for obesity that appears to be good value for money.  Although Ontario is expanding bariatric surgery capacity, some are concerned that capacity remains below current needs.  What is bariatric

Should patients have better access to their medical records?

Should Patients Have Better Access to Their Medical Records?

Patients are increasingly interested in reading the information in their own medical records. Canadian laws and existing technologies support this in principle. However, most patients are not yet easily able to access their medical records in practice. Canadians today have easy access to a range of systems that store their personal information. The difference between

Reducing ‘unnecessary’ blood glucose test strip use

Diabetes test strips

Blood glucose test strips are the third most expensive cost for the Ontario Public Drug Program. A study released in 2009 suggests that the Ontario government is unnecessarily spending between $19 and $42 million per year on glucose test strips. However, no changes have yet been made to reduce the use of blood glucose test

Do lessons from the fight against smoking apply to reducing obesity?

A multi-pronged strategy was needed to significantly reduce smoking rates across Ontario over the last few decades. Obesity is a current and worsening public health threat.  The obesity epidemic may also need to be attacked from many angles, but may be harder to effectively fight than smoking. took to the street in December 2010