Pulling back the curtain on Canada’s rising C-section rate

Caesarian sections (C-sections) are among the most common surgical procedures performed on women of child-bearing age. Canada’s C-section rate has increased dramatically in the past two decades. The national C-section rate  has increased from 17% of all births in 1995 to nearly 27% in  2010. In Ontario, nearly 29% of births in 2011/12 were by C-section, with a similar rate in Alberta of

Improvements suggested to the health system that failed Greg Price

Greg Price died at the age of 31. His death may have been preventable had he been diagnosed and treated earlier for testicular cancer. He was left alone to navigate the health system and follow up on referrals, while experiencing major delays and the absence of communication and information. His journey through the health system,

Buyer beware – no quick fix for concussion symptoms

The world is watching athletes in Sochi compete in sports such as hockey and downhill skiing. Concussion poses a risk, not only to the highly trained individuals competing in the Olympics, but also to ordinary Canadians who play sports occasionally. Concussions are the result of a blow to the head, and are the most common

Weight loss surgery: what do we know about quality?

weight loss surgery Ontario costs Canada Alberta

Weight loss is a constant struggle for millions of Canadians, with one in four Canadian adults classified as obese. Losing weight is not easy. Many Canadians try to lose weight through diet, exercise, behavioral modification and medications. Bariatric, or weight loss surgery is often the final effort for many on a long, difficult road to

Can quality be assured for diagnostic imaging?


News headlines from across Canada are periodically dominated by scandals and errors in diagnostic imaging. The list grows each year, with errors exposed from coast to coast. The narrative follows the same arc – an error is discovered in an area of diagnostic imaging. A radiologist – generally the physician involved in the interpretation of

Fewer hospital staff on weekends puts some patients at risk

Fewer hospital staff on weekends puts some patients at risk

In the modern economy, many industries, such as aviation, retail and manufacturing, no longer slow down over weekends. Yet hospitals have mostly resisted this trend, even though demand for many forms of health care is no less on weekends than on weekdays. While most hospitals are open every day of the week, many operate with

New recommendations for Canadian doctors-in-training focus on fatigue

Resident Duty Hours

After finishing medical school, new doctors go through several years of post-graduate, on-the-job training – known as residency – in order to become licensed to practice independently. Historically, residency has involved very long hours spent in hospital, so that residents see a high volume of diverse cases as well as provide patient care. As part

Providing emotional care for patients in a technology-driven health system

“They made me feel genuinely cared for. They listened, made eye contact with me, conveyed warmth and understanding in their voice and repeated back to me what I was saying.” — Sophia, about her visit to a chronic pain clinic, from a “care moment” prepared by the Patient Experience department of Alberta Health Services. Mounting