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Canada remains poor performer among countries with universal health care

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From the Fraser Institute

By Mackenzie Moir and Bacchus Barua

Canada reported far fewer physicians (ranking 28th of 30) and hospital beds (23rd of 29) per 1,000 people in 2021. And ranked low for the availability of MRI machines (25th of 29) and CT scanners (26thof 30) per million people in 2019

Earlier this year, the Trudeau government announced it will increase health-care spending to provinces and territories by $196.1 billion over the next decade. But patients hoping for improved access will likely be disappointed. In reality, Canada’s health-care system already ranks as one of the most expensive systems in the world, but only has mediocre results to show for it. In other words, the problem isn’t the amount of money we spend, it’s the poor value we get for our health-care dollars.

A new study compared the spending and performance of Canada’s system with 29 other universal health-care systems worldwide. According to the study (after adjusting for population age in each country), Canada was the highest spender on health care as a share of the economy (at 12.6 per cent) and ninth-highest on a per person basis in 2021, the latest year of available data.

And yet, compared to other universal countries, Canada reported far fewer physicians (ranking 28th of 30) and hospital beds (23rd of 29) per 1,000 people in 2021. And ranked low for the availability of MRI machines (25th of 29) and CT scanners (26thof 30) per million people in 2019 (the latest year of available data).

Unsurprisingly, scarce health-care resources are accompanied by long wait times. Using data collected in 2020 by the Commonwealth Fund, the study found that only 38 per cent of Canadians reported waiting less than four weeks for a specialist appointment—a much smaller percentage than countries such as Switzerland (68 per cent) and Germany (67 per cent). On this indicator, Canada ranked 10th out of 10 countries. Canada also ranked dead last (10th) on timely access to elective surgery—with 62 per cent of Canadians reporting waiting less than four months—compared to 99 per cent of Germans and 94 per cent of Swiss.

While these results were disappointing, Canada reported mixed results in other areas of performance. For example, although Canada performed poorly on safety indicators such as obstetric trauma during birth (23rd of 23 countries), it performed above the OECD average on other indicators including heart attack survival rates (9th of 25 countries). But while the Canadian system has in some areas performed in line with its high spending levels, overall it’s struggled to meet many of its basic obligations—especially timely access to care.

With its latest increase in health-care spending, the Trudeau government again ignores the fact that Canada already has one of the most expensive universal health-care systems in the world. And although some of this new spending is predicated on provinces tracking progress and demonstrating improvement on certain indicators, international data reveal a simple truth—Canadians do not receive commensurate value for their health-care dollars. Without fundamental reform, it’s unlikely the new spending promised by the Trudeau government will produce improved performance for Canadian patients and their families.

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Alberta

‘Liberal’ parents of gender-confused kids among supporters of Alberta’s proposed ‘transitioning’ ban

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From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

Parents whose kids have undergone medical or surgical ‘transitioning’ say that Premier Danielle Smith’s policies will spare other families from ‘the heartache their families have been through.’

As highlighted in a recent Epoch Times report, parents whose kids have undergone medical or surgical “transitioning” say that Smith’s new policies will only benefit families in general and spare them from “the heartache their families have been through.”

On January 31, Smith announced what is perhaps the strongest pro-family legislation in Canada, protecting kids from life-altering so-called “top and bottom” surgeries as well as other extreme forms of transgender ideology.

According to Crystal, a mom from Calgary, her son Noah, when he was in Grade 9, had a friend who made a “transition” from a female to a male. Her son had noted he was what is called a “trans ally,” but suddenly he began to identify himself as “she/they.”

“Fast forward to the early part of Grade 10, and out of the blue I get a text from my kid while he’s at school saying, ‘I’m now identifying as she/they,’” said Crystal, who said she is “quite a liberal parent.”

However, despite being a “liberal,” she admitted that she did not have an easy time with her son changing names and using different pronouns.

“Out of the blue is this vitriol towards me when I didn’t get it right,” she said, adding she then just decided to call her son “kiddo.”

However, Noah then told her he wanted hormones. Crystal and her ex-husband had thought Noah was just going through a phase, as he was “well known” for this.

“He would try on different so-called ‘identities’ like a jock, a nerd, a rapper,” Crystal said, and even as he was supposed to be “transitioning,” took on a look of a “goth.”

Alberta’s forthcoming regulations include a ban on so-called “top” surgeries (mastectomies, breast constructions) as well as “bottom” surgeries (vaginoplasties, phalloplasties) for children ages 17 and under. Puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones are also restricted to those age 16 and older but only with parental consent.

Smith said her United Conservative Party (UCP) government will soon introduce legislation that, if passed, would bar doctors in the province from medically or surgically “transitioning” children under age 17. The new legislation will also mandate parental consent for pronoun changes in school. Coming in the fall will be additional legislation that bans men who claim to be women from competing in women’s sports.

Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) praised Smith’s decision to introduce legislation to ban doctors from chemically or surgically “transitioning” children, calling it a “political miracle.”

Crystal’s line in the sand for her son: ‘No medical affirmation’

When the Alberta government was researching its new policy regarding banning surgically or chemically “transitioning” children, Crystal said she was one of the parents they talked with to get feedback.

She admits at the time she was not a fan of Smith or her party, but now says she is “doing this right.”

Crystal noted that if this policy had been in place only three years ago, all the heartache could have been avoided.

“This is blowing up relationships,” she said.

When speaking to her son, Crystal noted that her “line in the sand will always be [that] there will be no medical affirmation.”

As a result, she then said she was “hit with the vitriol.”

Due to Crystal having had to deal with her son wanting to become something other than his birth sex, she contacted parents with similar situations via a group called Our Duty.

After connecting with parents on the site, Crystal noted how her son Noah “checks a lot of the boxes” with other kids who say they are transgender.

She said that kids in these situations all use the same “script” of saying they are going to “kill myself if I don’t get the proper medical intervention if you don’t use the pronouns.”

“It’s the constant threat of suicide,” she noted.

Complaint filed against doctor who gave hormones

Despite Crystal trying to delay her son wanting to undergo a “medical transitioning,” she did book an appointment with a doctor to talk about hormones.

However, after being referred to a clinic to further talk about her son’s matter, she said the personnel were “aggressive.”

Crystal noted how the clinic was constantly emailing and calling her to make an appointment for her son, and she was told she had to have all the paperwork and blood work done before the meeting.

She said that this made “no sense,” so she told the clinic that she was “not signing a consent form.”

When she went to the appointment with her son, she was taken to a room with a doctor alone and was told that this appointment was not for her but for Noah.

The doctor only spoke with her for 10 minutes and was already willing to prescribe her son hormones. At this point, she confronted the doctor for not doing a thorough psychological assessment or any other screening. The doctor mentioned to her that while she was able to oppose the treatment, she could end up in the courts and that he would testify on Noah’s behalf. He then said he had always won in similar situations with other parents.

Crystal filed a complaint with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta against the doctor regarding her experience with her son, but for the time being, is not making public his name.

Her son later went to that doctor alone and started to take hormones. It was at this point she realized she had no control over the situation.

Crystal said that in the past her family doctor along with a child psychologist did not affirm Noah’s gender dysphoria. She noted that it was only the “gender experts,” all of whom had “zero history with my child,” who suggested this.

“They did not solicit the qualified professionals we had in place,” she said.

As for Noah, who is now in grade 12, the doctor who had the complaint against him told Noah that it was his mom who did this, which made her son mad.

“I will never forgive you for this,” he told her.

He then ran away from home and told people that he was not “safe” at home with his mom.

“I just want to be your mom,” she had mentioned to him.

While many so-called “gender-affirming care” workers claim that the effects of puberty blockers can be reversed, according to Dr. Jane Anderson, vice president of the American College of Pediatricians, as per The Epoch Timesthe hormones can severely impact brain development.

Puberty blockers can cause heightened depression, severe mood swings, and weight gain.

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COVID-19

Nova Scotia drops COVID vaccine mandate for healthcare workers amid ongoing staffing crisis

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From LifeSiteNews

By Clare Marie Merkowsky

The Nova Scotia Health Authority is allowing unvaccinated staff to return to work when the new policy takes effect on February 26 after more than two years of being on unpaid leave.

Nova Scotia has dropped its vaccine mandate for healthcare workers amid an ongoing staff crisis.

On February 21, the Nova Scotia Health Authority announced that it will no longer require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for healthcare workers and is encouraging staff members who were suspended because of the mandate to return to work.

“By removing the mandatory vaccination requirement, both organizations aim to offer flexibility and support to employees, onsite medical staff, and preferred candidates,” read a joint statement from Nova Scotia Health and IWK Health.

“Staff members who chose not to receive vaccines or submit proof of immunization, when the policy was implemented, may have the opportunity to return to active employment,” the statement promised.

Under the new policy set to take effect February 26, staff members “who chose not to receive vaccines or submit proof of immunization will be eligible to apply for onsite medical privileges with Nova Scotia Health and IWK Health, provided they meet all other necessary job requirements.”

Starting in November 2021, Nova Scotia mandated the experimental vaccine for healthcare workers. Those who refused the shot were placed on unpaid leave.

 According to a letter sent to The Canadian Independent, the province is telling unvaccinated healthcare workers to return to work when the new policy takes effect.

The email informed them that it is “imperative” to reach out to their manager to “confirm your intention to return to work or resign employment with Nova Scotia Health.”

“We understand this update may raise questions and concerns associated with a return to work,” the email stated. “We encourage you to reach out to your manager to discuss any supports and resources you may need to assist with your transition back to the workplace.”

The policy change comes amid record-high healthcare wait times of 27.7 weeks, the longest in the past 30 years and 198% longer than the 1993 average of 9.3 weeks.

The data surveyed 1,200 Canadian doctors across 12 specialties and 10 provinces. The report found that Nova Scotia had the longest wait time of 56.7 weeks, followed by Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick with 55.2 weeks and 52.6 weeks, respectively.

Vaccine mandates for healthcare workers remain in place across Canada despite the critical staff shortages in hospitals. While some provincial governments have lifted their mandates, many hospitals still require the experimental vaccine.

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