Health News Highlights
Health News Highlights is intended to provide OMA members with a snapshot of recent healthcare news, with links to the news articles.
Health News Highlights
Health News Highlights is intended to provide OMA members with a snapshot of recent healthcare news, with links to the news articles.



Gated Information:
Users may find that some news websites restrict the number of times that non-subscribers can access their site. All effort has been made to avoid these gated sites and alternative sources are included whenever possible.

Viewpoints Presented: Health News Highlights is intended to provide a snapshot of healthcare news on a given day. The headlines and links are for information purposes only. This news list does not constitute any endorsements by the Ontario Medical Association nor should it be considered as a reflection of the item’s importance. OMA does not control or guarantee the accuracy and timeliness of information contained on any linked sites.

Broken links: Every effort has been made to ensure that web addresses provided to the health news stories are active and can be linked directly, however external websites are beyond OMA control and some links may not work for all members.

  • E
    Title: Ex-health ministers blast Ford’s ‘attack’ on public health (Ipolitics.ca)
    Description: (May 23, 2019) Former provincial health ministers representing all three major parties are slamming the Ford government’s public health cuts and calling for a reversal…
  • H
    Title: He begged Hamilton’s St. Joe’s psychiatric ER to admit him because he was suicidal, but was turned away (Toronto Star)
    Description: (May 23, 2019) He knew he was in deep trouble. So he asked for help. His life depended on it. Paul Ostrander told staff at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton psychiatric ER he wanted to kill himself. And he was thinking of killing others…
  • O
    Title: Open Letter to the Hon. Christine Elliott, Minister of Health and LongTerm Care Regarding Proposed Cuts to Public
    Description: (May 23, 2019) A healthy Ontario is one of the best ways we can ensure we have a high quality of life, vibrant communities, and a strong economy. That’s why the funding the Province provides to public health units is so important. We need a network of public…
  • 1
    Title: 10 ex-Ontario health ministers issue joint letter decrying ‘attack on public health’: ‘This attack on public health has prompted us to break our silence,’ says letter to Christine Elliott (CBC News)
    Description: (May 23, 2019) Ten former Ontario health ministers from across the political spectrum are taking the rare step of sending a joint letter to the government, imploring it to reverse millions of dollars in public health cuts they say put the province “at risk.”……
  • E
    Title: Eastern Ontario rural health units say merging with Ottawa doesn’t make sense (Ottawa Citizen)
    Description: (May 22, 2019) Public health officials from rural and small urban communities in Eastern Ontario say it doesn’t make sense for them to amalgamate with Ottawa to form one massive regional health unit, as proposed by the province. They are pitching to create…
  • C
    Title: Canadian Family Physician: Managing opioid use disorder in primary care: PEER simplified guideline (cfp.ca)
    Description: (May 2019) The recommendations will help simplify the complex management of patients with OUD in primary care. They will aid clinicians and patients in making informed decisions regarding their care…
  • H
    Title: Health Quality Ontario Blog: Counting on surgical teams (hqontario.ca)
    Description: (May 21, 2019) When it comes to taking opioids for the first time, it is not surprising that this frequently occurs after having surgery…
  • I
    Title: ICES: Concussions linked to increased risk of dementia (ices.on.ca)
    Description: (May 20, 2019) One in six seniors developed dementia after a concussion, according to a new study by researchers at ICES and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. While concussions predict an increased long-term dementia risk, it is modestly lower for older adults…
  • S
    Title: Saugeen Shores doctor retiring (blackburnnews.com)
    Description: (May 21, 2019) The Town of Saugeen Shores will continue physician recruitment efforts as a local doctor has announced plans to retire this summer…
  • W
    Title: Why some experts say it’s time for Twitter and Facebook to ban anti-vaccination posts: social media giants say they direct users to sound information, but won’t remove misinformation (CBC News)
    Description: (May 22, 2019) As measles cases continue to rise in Canada and the U.S., experts are calling on social media platforms to ban anti-vaccination posts, saying the risks to public health created by misinformation outweigh the right to free speech…
  • L
    Title: Living in a remote location is associated with avoidable death. Why is that? The Canadian remoteness index identifies factors that link health-care access and unintended death (CBC News)
    Description: (May 20, 2019) A study by Statistics Canada has found that Canadians living in remote areas have higher chances of unnecessary death — avoidable mortality — than those living in heavily populated areas…
  • O
    Title: Ontario Health Study says 4K northeastern Ontarians taking part in long-term survey: since 2009, the study has been collecting health-related information from 225-thousand Ontario residents (CBC News)
    Description: (May 21, 2019) A long-term survey of the health of Ontarians is sending out a new questionnaire, this time to ask about the connection between your work and your health…
  • N
    Title: No, payouts don’t prove vaccines are unsafe; Every drug, every medical intervention, has a benefit which also carries the risk of harm (Globe and Mail)
    Description: (May 21, 2019) [Gated] The U.S. government has paid out more than US$4-billion to victims of “vaccine injury” over the past three decades. Skeptics frequently cite this as the ultimate proof that vaccines are harmful – but it’s nothing of the sort…
  • O
    Title: One public health unit to serve nearly half of Ontario, if government plan proceeds: doctor says public health importance often overlooked because ‘you can’t measure what you’ve prevented’ (CBC News)
    Description: (May 15, 2019) The Ontario government is beginning to lay out its plan to collapse the province’s 35 public health units into 10 regional entities, news which concerns the two chief medical officers serving the northwest of the province, from the Manitoba border,…
  • D
    Title: Disease carrying ticks are spreading across Ontario. Here’s how to protect yourself: risk of acquiring Lyme disease in Toronto relatively low, but high in forested and brushy areas (CBC News)
    Description: (May 16, 2019) Disease-carrying ticks are relentlessly spreading across Ontario and Toronto Public Health officials are advising residents to be on the lookout for bites as spring temperatures climb…
  • O
    Title: Ontario’s highest court rules doctors must give referrals for services they oppose: requirement part of policy surrounding assisted dying, abortion (CBC News)
    Description: (Mary 15, 2019) Ontario’s highest court ruled Wednesday that doctors in the province must give referrals for medical services that clash with their religious beliefs, calling it a compromise that balances the rights of physicians and the interests of patients……
  • R
    Title: Regulator rejects complaints against surgeon who called for stricter gun laws after Danforth shooting (CP24.com)
    Description: (May 15, 2019) Ontario’s medical regulator has ruled that dozens of complaints against a trauma surgeon advocating for stricter gun laws appear to be a politically motivated attempt to silence her…
  • C
    Title: CMAJ News: Medical schools to boost numbers of Indigenous students, faculty (cmajnews.com)
    Description: (May 15, 2019) Canada’s 17 medical schools will ensure a minimum number of Indigenous students are admitted each year as part of a new joint commitment to action on Indigenous health…
  • P
    Title: Province’s plan to redraw health unit boundary raises concerns: Ottawa Public Health would be swallowed by amalgamated unit covering eastern Ontario, councillor says (CBC News)
    Description: (May 14, 2019) Ottawa Public Health (OPH) could soon be absorbed by an amalgamated health unit covering the majority of eastern Ontario, according to the city councillor who chairs the OPH board…
  • G
    Title: Group decries complaints from gun-rights activists against doctor (Globe and Mail)
    Description: (May 15, 2019) [Gated] Ontario’s regulatory college for doctors says dozens of complaints lodged against a physician advocating for gun control were a politically motivated attempt to silence her and an abuse of its process…
  • R
    Title: Report offers in-depth look at first months of London’s drug use site: the hard numbers are in on the city’s overdose prevention site, the first in-depth look at feedback from the clients it serves (London Free Press)
    Description: (May 15, 2019) The hard numbers are in on the city’s overdose prevention site, the first in-depth look at feedback from the clients it serves…
  • S
    Title: Small communities grapple with ‘huge challenge’ of opioid crisis (Toronto City News)
    Description: (May 13, 2019) In the small town of Arnprior, nestled into the Ottawa Valley, at least five suspected opioid overdoses in the span of week prompted police to issue a public warning…
  • W
    Title: What Ontario’s geriatrician shortage means for its aging population (tvo.org)
    Description: (May 13, 2019) Seniors make up more than a fifth of the population in Grey, Bruce, Huron, and Perth counties – and they’re served by just one local geriatrician…
  • S
    Title: Small communities grapple with ‘huge challenge’ of opioid crisis (globalnews.ca)
    Description: (May 13, 2019) In the small town of Arnprior, nestled into the Ottawa Valley, at least five suspected opioid overdoses in the span of week prompted police to issue a public warning…
  • H
    Title: Hit anti-vaccination forces where it hurts: social media (Globe and Mail)
    Description: (May 13, 2019) [Gated] One of the most striking examples is how the viral spread of misinformation has led to a resurgence in childhood illnesses like measles and mumps…
  • T
    Title: Toronto investigating 2 confirmed cases of measles, public warned of possible exposure: people may have been exposed at several locations, including Pearson Airport, Toronto Zoo, 2 flights (CBC News)
    Description: (May 13, 2019) Toronto Public Health officials say members of the public may have been exposed to measles in several places early in May after two new cases were confirmed on Monday…
  • T
    Title: Treasury Board Secretariat: Expenditure estimates for the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (2019-20) (Ontario.ca)
    Description: (May 9, 2019) The 2019-2020 Expenditure Estimates set out details of the operating and capital spending requirements of the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care for the fiscal year commencing April 1, 2019…
  • T
    Title: Treasury Board Secretariat: Expenditure estimates volume 1 (Ontario.ca)
    Description: (May 9, 2019) The 2019-2020 Expenditure Estimates set out details of the operating and capital spending requirements of Ministries and Legislative Offices for the fiscal year commencing April 1, 2019…
  • H
    Title: Health Canada: Consultation on draft guidance: accelerated review of human drug submissions (Canada.ca)
    Description: (May 7, 2019) Health Canada is announcing a 75 day consultation on the draft Guidance: Accelerated Review of Human Drug Submissions. The consultation will be open for comment beginning May 7, 2019 and will close July 21, 2019…
  • 2
    Title: 25 years after phase-out began, Ontario is cancelling remaining red-and-white health cards: 400,000 red-and-white Ontario health cards are still in circulation (CBC News)
    Description: (May 9, 2019) More than two decades after Ontario started phasing out its red-and-white health cards, the government is setting a firm end date to cancel all remaining ones…
  • U
    Title: U of T Dalla Lana School of Public Health: U of T opens groundbreaking centre to strengthen vaccine confidence through collaboration (dlsph.utoronto.ca)
    Description: (May 9, 2019) The Dalla Lana School of Public Health today launched The Centre for Vaccine Preventable Diseases, an interdisciplinary hub of academic research and educational practice, with experts drawn from across U of T, to better understand and address…
  • 2
    Title: 2 Niagara physicians receive Patients’ Choice Award [OMA Mentioned: Dr. Nadia Alam] (NiagaraThisWeek.com)
    Description: (May 7, 2019) Two Niagara physicians have been recognized for the exceptional care of their patients at the 2019 Patients’ Choice Awards…John Schultz, a St. Catharines family doctor…Jerzy Sternadel, a Welland gynecologist…
  • T
    Title: Tory slams Ford over health, child-care cuts amid pricey plan to expand booze sales: Toronto mayor questions province cutting city services while moving forward on campaign promise [OMA mentioned] (CBC News)
    Description: (May 6, 2019) Mayor John Tory is slamming Premier Doug Ford’s government for slashing funds for city services while moving forward with a potentially-pricey campaign promise to bring beer into convenience stores…
  • O
    Title: Ontario to expand use of mobile crisis teams to help first responders: government outlined vision for integrated, wrap-around mental health services (CBC News)
    Description: (May 6, 2019) Ontario is planning to expand the use of mobile crisis intervention teams that help first responders, and increase mental health supports in schools…
  • F
    Title: Family doctors caught in middle in deadly opioid crisis, London study finds (London Press Press)
    Description: (May 7, 2019) Family doctors are exhausted and overwhelmed by the opioid drug crisis, dealing with patients with chronic pain while being hyper-vigilant about how they prescribe the powerful painkillers, London researchers say…
  • C
    Title: CMAJ: Physician suicide [OMA PHP: Drs. Joy Albuquerque & Sarah Tulk]
    Description: (May 6, 2019) Five things to know about… mental health: 1. Suicide is an occupational hazard for physicians…
  • Q
    Title: Queen’s Policy Blog: Public health redux (queensu.ca)
    Description: (May 3, 2019) It was a cold winter in Toronto in early 2003 when a foreign killer came to town. Hundreds sickened, coughing, fevered and breathless and 44 people died as their lungs filled up and failed…
  • T
    Title: Trudeau resists pressure to decriminalize drugs in face of opioid crisis (Toronto City News)
    Description: (May 4, 2019) Donna May says she’ll no longer tolerate a nod or weepy eyes from politicians over the opioid epidemic – it’s claimed the lives of too many people she loves…
  • S
    Title: Sudbury doctors work to create a Northern City of Heroes: sessions being held this month at Science North in Sudbury (CBC News)
    Description: (May 3, 2019) It’s a scene we’ve all witnessed in the movies: a crowded public place when someone suddenly jumps up and asks if there is a doctor in the house…
  • C
    Title: CMAJ News: Lack of interest in geriatrics among medical trainees a concern as population ages (cmajnews.com)
    Description: (May 2, 2019) Geriatricians are concerned by the lack of interest in geriatric medicine in this year’s residency match. The specialty had the highest ratio of unfilled-to-filled spots, with 10 of 30 positions remaining vacant, according to the Canadian Resident…
  • N
    Title: N.S. government may have to step into sick note controversy, says lawyer: Nova Scotia doctor recently called for government to ban sick note requirement for absences under 5 days (CBC News)
    Description: (May 2, 2019) The conflict between the rights of employers and workers over doctors’ sick notes for medical absences might require provincial legislation to resolve, says an Ontario employment lawyer…
  • R
    Title: Resident Doctors of Canada: Optimizing the working conditions of on-call residents: national standards for resident call rooms (residentdoctors.ca)
    Description: (May 2019) Resident Doctors of Canada (RDoC) recognizes the importance of appropriately appointed resting facilities for resident physicians while working on call duties. As front-line providers, residents work long hours in hospital on call….
  • L
    Title: London surgeon clinches national award for military tours of duty (London Free Press)
    Description: (May 1, 2019) On the operating table, he saw the worst from the longest combat mission in Canadian history, the war in Afghanistan…
  • N
    Title: New online tool helps shine light on food allergy concerns (CTV News)
    Description: (May 1, 2019) People worried that they or their children might be suffering from an undiagnosed food allergy have a new tool to help them figure out if they should see a specialist…
  • H
    Title: Health Canada News Release: The Government of Canada implements commitment to plain packaging for tobacco products (newswire.ca)
    Description: (May 1, 2019) Reducing the appeal of tobacco products will help to protect the health of Canadians from tobacco-related death and disease…

  • Title: ‘Ugliest colour in the world’ picked for new Canadian tobacco packaging (Toronto City News)
    Description: (May 1, 2019) Canadian cigarette packs will have to be plain drab brown with standardized layouts and lettering under new rules that kick in next Nov. 9, Health Canada says…
  • H
    Title: Here’s how many drugs went missing at LHSC in the last 3 years: some say Canadian hospitals are not doing enough to prevent hospital drug thefts (CBC News)
    Description: (May 1, 2019) The number of cases of controlled substances going missing from the London region’s largest hospital network has been relatively steady in the last three years, according to data obtained by CBC London…
  • C
    Title: CMAJ News: Health care system takes advantage of doctors’ work ethic (cmajnews.com)
    Description: (April 30, 2019) Stop working so hard and focusing negotiations on monetary issues — the health care system will take advantage of you…
  • W
    Title: What Canadians should know about the Alzheimer’s mimic (CTV News)
    Description: (April 30, 2019) A newly identified form of dementia causes similar symptoms to Alzheimer’s disease, but is actually a separate condition that only mimics Alzheimer’s…[Brain 2019-04-30 https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/awz099] …
  • D
    Title: Doctors worry as anti-vaccination messages escalate from social media misinformation to personal threats: ‘The pitchforks are coming out,’ family doctor says [w/ comments from Dr Nadia Alam] (CBC News)
    Description: (May 1, 2019) As anti-vaccination groups fight back against public health campaigns to promote immunization in the face of measles outbreaks, some Canadian doctors say the battle has escalated beyond social media platforms to personal threats and attacks…
  • M
    Title: Mother whose son died of the flu says she’s become a target of anti-vaccine groups on Facebook (Globe and Mail)
    Description: (April 30, 2019) [Gated] A Canadian who became a vaccination advocate after the death of her son says she has been subjected to hundreds of online attacks in recent days from an anti-vaccination Facebook group, highlighting what she says is the social-media…
  • V
    Title: Vaccination, school breakfast programs should be priority: Elliott (Toronto Sun)
    Description: (April 29, 2019) Toronto Public Health has enough funding to focus on priorities like child vaccines and school breakfast programs, if it doesn’t take on “advocacy” projects like its Yonge Street Renewal report, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott says……
  • R
    Title: Rand Corporation News Release: Using cannabis and tobacco/nicotine together is linked to heavier use and poorer functioning among young adults (rand.org)
    Description: (April 29, 2019) More than a third of young adults report using both cannabis and tobacco or nicotine products, providing a unique challenge to public health officials… (Psychol Addict Behav. 2019 Apr 15. doi: 10.1037/adb0000464. [Epub ahead of print])…
  • C
    Title: Cutting edge heart surgery at Sudbury’s Health Sciences North: last year the team at the hospital successfully completed 48 procedures (CBC News)
    Description: (April 29, 2019) For the last several months, the hospital in Sudbury has been offering heart surgery without cracking open your ribs to get to your heart. Instead, this surgery involves a small puncture in your leg, and you can be awake the whole time…
  • P
    Title: Patchy vaccination rates raise measles outbreak concerns in Ontario as U.S. battles emergency (Globe and Mail)
    Description: (April 29, 2019) [Gated] Large numbers of children and teenagers in pockets of Ontario haven’t been vaccinated, creating the threat of a measles outbreak similar to the ones health officials are battling in the United States…
  • I
    Title: Investing for a healthy future (Toronto Sun)
    Description: (April 28, 2019) The Ontario government recently announced it would reduce the number of public health units. It also announced that there would be a reduction in funding in the fiscal year which has already started. That this is to be accomplished by changing…
  • F
    Title: Ford government says it has more cash on the table for Toronto Public Health (Ipolitics)
    Description: (April 26, 2019) The Ford government says it has budgeted much more for Toronto Public Health than the numbers put forward by the city, but that extra cash could be contingent on the city also ponying up more money for the health agency…
  • W
    Title: World Medical Association News Release: World Medical Association warning on vaccine hesitancy (wma.net)
    Description: (April 27, 2019) The World Medical Association has expressed its alarm about increasing reports of measles outbreaks in many parts of the world…
  • P
    Title: Put public health cuts on ‘pause,’ TDSB urges Ford government: parents to be notified about possible service reductions for students at schools (CBC News)
    Description: (April 25, 2019) Trustees with the Toronto District School Board have voted to urge Premier Doug Ford’s government to “pause any reductions to funding” of Toronto Public Health (TPH) through the 2019-20 school year…
  • F
    Title: Ford government and Toronto dispute the extent of the public health cuts. Here’s what I think is going on (Toronto Star)
    Description: (April 25, 2019) The programs and budgets of Toronto Public Health have become a big news item in the past week, since the city announced it had been notified abruptly by the province of immediate funding cuts…