citizen engagement

Health Canada’s nutrition label changes still need improvement

Rosie Schwartz

When federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose announced proposed changes to nutrition labels this summer, dietitians and the public were excited. With the current labels, shoppers looking for healthier products needed to be either a biology expert or a math whiz to succeed. But will the new ones solve the problem? Here are five of the proposed

Should Healthy Debate publish anonymous blog posts?

Jeremy Petch Healthy Debate Blogger

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 for publishing guest blogs specifically states that the author’s real

A request from Dr. Andreas Laupacis, Editor-in-Chief of Healthy Debate

Andreas Laupacis healthy debate editor in chief

Dear Healthy Debate community, Working on Healthy Debate for the last few years has been enormously rewarding for our whole team. We’ve been delighted with the response from our community, and even a little surprised by how much our readership has grown. Healthy Debate has gone through a lot of positive change lately. We’ve completely

Patient engagement and trench innovation

William Swan healthy debate blogger

Over the past couple of years I have become engrossed in a relatively new kid on the health block: Patient Engagement. With Patient Engagement, the hope is that patients — long seen as merely passive receivers of care — may actually have something to OFFER the health care system beyond being a human pin-cushion and consenting to any treatment thrust their way.

Who is “the patient” in patient-centred care?

Yan Xu healthy debate blogger

I breathe a sigh of relief as the announcement system comes on after an 8-minute clinical encounter: “please begin patient feedback.” I especially enjoy this part of our weekly clinical skills session, and not only because it heralds the end of an encounter wherein I, as a medical student, nervously attempt to recall the many

Ontario Citizens Council: a failed experiment or a success in the making?

Ontario Citizens Council: a failed experiment or a success in the making?

Decisions about health policy often involve difficult trade-offs. This is especially true when assessing new health technologies and medications, where funding one item can mean not being able to fund another. These decisions often force policy makers to go beyond scientific considerations of a drug’s effectiveness, and address broader ethical and social considerations. Recognizing that

Why Canadian health care needs a new kind of patient input

Shalom Glouberman blogger

Modern health care systems emerged in the late 19th Century from the ascendance of scientific medicine. The major killers at the time of Robert Koch and Louis Pasteur were infectious diseases such as anthrax, tuberculosis and typhoid fever. These scientists were among the first to identify the microorganisms that cause such disease and then to

The influence of politics & the public on research funding in Canada

The recent controversy about a new treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) has raised questions about the role of patients and politicians in determining health research priorities. In the past, the scientific community has generally determined what research is conducted. However the public is increasingly demanding that they be involved in setting research priorities – the

Why does the government appoint hospital supervisors?

In August 2011, a supervisor was appointed at the Niagara Health System to “restore public confidence” in the hospital.  The Ontario Public Hospitals Act  allows the government to appoint a supervisor to take over the administration of a hospital if it is considered in the public interest to do so.  While appointing a supervisor happens

Citizens participate in hospital restructuring processes

Citizens Participate in Hospital Restructuring Processes

Northumberland Hills Hospital in Cobourg, Ontario was facing a significant deficit. The hospital convened a citizens’ panel to advise the board about which services could be removed from the hospital. The experiment was successful – should it be used by other hospitals? took to the street in December 2010 to gather some opinions about