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Health

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.

COVID-19

Large new study finds COVID jabs carry increased risks of heart, brain, blood diseases

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From LifeSiteNews

By Calvin Freiburger

The study of 99 million jabbed people found ‘significantly higher risks of myocarditis’ after mRNA COVID shots, as well as increased risks of pericarditis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and other diseases.

A new COVID-19 jab study being billed as the largest to date has found increased risks of rare heart, brain, and blood disorders, yet the organization behind the controversial shots continues to defend them.

The study, published this month in the journal Vaccine, looked for 13 neurological, blood, and heart related medical conditions in 99 million jabbed people across eight countries, according to a press release from the Global Vaccine Data Network (GVDN). It “confirmed pre-established safety signals for myocarditis, pericarditis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and cerebral venous sinus thrombosis,” as well as identifying “[o]ther potential safety signals that require further investigation.”

“[W]e observed significantly higher risks of myocarditis following the first, second and third doses of BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273” (both mRNA shots), the study says, “as well as pericarditis after the first and fourth dose of mRNA-1273, and third dose of ChAdOx1 [adenovirus-vector vaccines], in the 0–42 days risk period.”

“Another potential safety signal was identified for ADEM after the first dose of mRNA-1273 vaccine, with five more observed than expected events based on 1,035,871 person-years and 10.5 million doses administered,” it continued. ADEM stands for acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, an autoimmune disease that involves serious brain and spinal cord inflammation. “[H]owever, the number of cases of this rare event were small and the confidence interval wide, so results should be interpreted with caution and confirmed in future studies.”

The study also found a 2.5 times higher risk of the immune disorder Guillain-Barré syndrome associated with the AstraZeneca shot, as well as potential signs of increased risk of ​transverse myelitis, another type of spinal cord inflammation, associated with the viral-vector jabs.

It further noted that “[p]otential underreporting across countries may have led to an underestimation of the significance of potential safety signals. It is important to recognize the potential for false negatives, especially when detecting associations with lower confidence intervals below 1.5 that maintain statistical significance.”

Yet on February 12, GVDN also published a blog post doubling down on the dominant medical establishment positions that the COVID shots “reduce the incidence of infection,” despite the jabs’ failure to stop transmission, and that fears about dangers “are often based on misinterpretation of data, anecdotal evidence, or preliminary research that does not stand up to rigorous scientific scrutiny.” The author of the post, Helen Petousis-Harris, was one of 35 authors to whom the new study is credited.

The first in a series of reports by a Florida grand jury impaneled to investigate the COVID jabs recently concluded that COVID was “statistically almost harmless” to children and most adults and that it is “highly likely” that COVID hospitalization numbers were inflated, seriously undermining the presumed need for vaccines.

The federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) reports 37,100 deaths, 214,248 hospitalizations, 21,431 heart attacks, and 28,121 myocarditis and pericarditis cases as of January 26, among other ailments. An April 2022 study out of Israel indicates that COVID infection itself cannot fully account for the myocarditis numbers, despite common insistence to the contrary.

Jab defenders are quick to stress that reports submitted to VAERS are unconfirmed, as anyone can submit one, but U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) researchers have recognized a “high verification rate of reports of myocarditis to VAERS after mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccination,” leading to the conclusion that “under-reporting is more likely” than overreporting.

2010 report submitted to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS’s) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) warned that VAERS caught “fewer than 1% of vaccine adverse events.” On the problem of underreporting, the VAERS website offers only that “more serious and unexpected medical events are probably more likely to be reported than minor ones” (emphasis added).

In 2021, Project Veritas shed light on some of the reasons for such underreporting with undercover video from inside Phoenix Indian Medical Center, a facility run under HHS’s Indian Health Service program, in which emergency room physician Dr. Maria Gonzales laments that myocarditis cases go unreported “because they want to shove it under the mat” and nurse Deanna Paris attests to seeing “a lot” of people who “got sick from the side effects” of the COVID shots but adds that “nobody” is reporting them to VAERS “because it takes over a half hour to write the d–mn thing.”

Further, VAERS is not the only data source containing red flags. Data from the Pentagon’s Defense Medical Epidemiology Database (DMED) shows that 2021 saw drastic spikes in a variety of diagnoses for serious medical issues over the previous five-year average, including hypertension (2,181%), neurological disorders (1,048%), multiple sclerosis (680%), Guillain-Barre syndrome (551%), breast cancer, (487%), female infertility (472%), pulmonary embolism (468%), migraines (452%), ovarian dysfunction (437%), testicular cancer (369%), and tachycardia (302%).

Leading COVID shot manufacturer Pfizer donated more than $8.5 million to political candidates, leadership PACs, trade associations, and party committees representing both parties last year, fueling suspicion as to why only a handful of nationally prominent GOP officeholders, such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Wisconsin’s Sen. Ron Johnson, are opposed to the company’s shot.

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Addictions

City Council decides to close Red Deer’s Overdose Prevention Site

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City Council requests the Province of Alberta make changes to OPS in Red Deer

City Council made decisions (Friday) related to Red Deer’s Overdose Prevention Site (OPS), requesting the Government of Alberta (GOA):

  • formalize an orderly transition of the existing OPS out of Red Deer by the end of 2025;
  • provide in its place greater harm reducing options within our community that focus on health, wellness, and recovery, including more detox capacity, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), recovery coaches, counsellors, and culturally appropriate health and wellness supports, etc.;
  • provide dedicated grant funding to provide a continuous police presence/enforcement in the immediate vicinity of the OPS and temporary shelter, until the crime and social disorder impacts associated with these provincial services are better mitigated for the safety and security of our public;
  • substantially increase front-line supports for mental health and addictions within our community/region to better address the root causes leading to drug and alcohol addictions.

These decisions stem from a Notice of Motion put forward by Councillor Higham on December 18, 2023. After being read into the record on January 22, 2024, a non-statutory public hearing was scheduled for yesterday, February 15, 2024. Approximately 40 members of the public attended the non-statutory public hearing, with approximately 30 individuals speaking to the Notice of Motion, sharing their thoughts on the issue.

After hearing from the public yesterday, City Council debated the motion today, with Mayor Ken Johnston now having City Council direction to take the issue forward to the province and proceed with advocacy efforts.

“The public hearing and the debate of this motion were harrowing and emotional experiences for everyone. Each of us have been touched in some way by addiction; we heard that very clearly, and I am no exception. We heard heartfelt testimony from many members of our community, citizens, some who use the OPS, some who are service providers in the community, business owners, doctors, family members that have lost loves ones, and more,” said Mayor Johnston. “Council approached this most sensitive of issues with open minds, open ears, and open hearts. We are trying to improve lives for those suffering from addiction. This is a complex challenge, as these are areas where municipalities do not have jurisdiction. What we know is that Red Deer needs robust support from the provincial government for people with addictions; we need support for our community that is grappling with the fallout of addictions; and we need that support in the most immediate way.”

Mayor Johnston added, “Following this meeting, I will reach out to the Ministry of Addictions and Mental Health to book meetings where we can discuss how to move forward in the best interest of our city.”

Currently the OPS is located 5246 53 Avenue in downtown Red Deer.

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