While struggling with any illness, it is reassuring to feel that there is a place to go for help if things deteriorate beyond your ability to handle it. This is a sense of comfort I have lost. I have been forced to face the reality of what the emergency department can provide for mental health crises – not a lot. But there's more we could do.
If our health-care system claims to be equitable and considerate of patients with addiction and mental-health concerns, it has to resolve the issue of boarded mental-health patients in emergency departments, which can lead to higher overall wait times for emergency care.
The move to virtual care is leaving some communities behind. For rural Canadians, especially those in remote and Indigenous communities, there are obstacles to seeing a doctor both in person and online.
The pandemic and climate crisis have put extra strain on the already evolving primary care system and worsened the B.C. family-doctor shortage. But the current structure of family medicine has not adapted.
As we continue returning to a semblance of normalcy, it’s important we don’t lose the progress that we’ve made in safe and effective virtual care. e-Prescribing tools should continue to be a part of safer and more efficient medication management.
Our health-care system is very energy intensive and produces large volumes of solid waste and toxic waste. But this is, in fact, counter to our ethical duty to do no harm, which must include not harming the environment and the health of people and communities.
The true challenge of transformation is the need for leaders to see it not as simply a cumulation of changes, reforms or innovations but as a process of collective people change, regardless of the role one plays in health care.
Nurse practitioners are steadily solidifying their place in primary care. However, with 5 million Canadians without a primary care provider, experts say there's still more untapped potential for nurse practitioners to improve access and quality of care.
The first week of March each year marks Social Work Week. Now more than ever, social workers are needed to enable and accelerate access to mental health support within the health-care system and across many other settings.
In 2020, Ontario's LTC lockdown policies led to the elimination of religious, recreational, therapeutic and social activities for residents, resulting in a spiritual health crisis in LTC homes. As a front-line occupational therapist, I witnessed first-hand the devastating consequences of the removal of spiritual care.
The combined pandemic toll of a nursing shortage, an exhausted and increasingly inexperienced hospital workforce and a lack of hospital presence for family and friend patient advocates may be a precursor to increased risk of harm while in hospital.
Representatives of Toronto Women in Emergency Medicine, a group of emergency physicians working in hospitals in the Greater Toronto Area, were asked to reflect on their experiences of the most recent wave and what health-care systems can do to survive the next one.
The reality is that more hospital beds are not going to be the panacea for our health-care system that many want, hope and need them to be. Instead, there are several ways to drive improvements in the national health-care structures.
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