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.

  • P
    Title: Premier Doug Ford wants answers on mental health detainee who fled, calls man a ‘nutcase’ (Global News)
    Description: (July 18, 2019) Ontario’s premier vowed Thursday to get answers on how a patient detained at a mental health hospital for killing his roommate managed to flee, calling the man a “nutcase,” as two organizations involved launched internal reviews…
  • M
    Title: More than 52,000 sexual assault cases treated in Ontario hospitals during 15-year period (ices.on.ca)
    Description: (July 18, 2019) Approximately 3,500 survivors of sexual assault are treated in Ontario hospitals each year, according to a new study led by researchers at ICES, The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa. The researchers used a broad set of codes to help…
  • C
    Title: CMAJ News: Dramatic rise in VRE infections linked to abandoned control measures (cmajnews.com)
    Description: (July 18, 2019) Ontario has seen a rise in vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE) infections over the past decade as many hospitals stopped programs to contain the antibiotic-resistant bug. Some are reinstating the programs, but the trend may prove difficult…
  • L
    Title: Lyme disease is so common in parts of Canada, some areas no longer test ticks (Global News)
    Description: (July 18, 2019) Lyme disease has settled so deeply into parts of Canada many public health units now just assume if you get bitten by a tick, you should be treated for the potentially debilitating bacteria…
  • A
    Title: A coroner’s life in preventing death (Bellville Intelligencer)
    Description: (July 17, 2019) For Dr. William Bates, the key to dealing with death is finding ways to prevent it. Bates, 79, is still practising family medicine and in 2017 retired as a local coroner…
  • F
    Title: Federal government pledges millions for opioid crisis: federal health minister recommends training on using medication naloxone to reverse overdoses (CBC News)
    Description: (July 17, 2019) The federal government is putting more money into fighting the opioid crisis and addressing what Canada’s health minister says is the “alarming growth of methamphetamine use.”…
  • H
    Title: How one Ontario town is luring young doctors – and keeping them there: Goderich, Ont., population 8K, had just 5 doctors – it now has 28 (CBC News)
    Description: (July 17, 2019) As municipalities across Ontario struggle to convince doctors to hang out their shingles, one town has managed to lure young physicians through a concerted community effort, and even the promise of love…
  • F
    Title: Flu fears across Ontario spread after death toll rises in Australia (Global News)
    Description: (July 17, 2019) Australia is facing one of the worst flu seasons since 2009. In fact, there have been three times more hospitalizations than they get in a typical winter…
  • W
    Title: What you need to know about rabies in Canada: exposure to rabies in Canada is rare. But after the death of a B.C. man, here’s what you need to know (CBC News)
    Description: (July 16, 2019) Public health officials and scientists stress that rabies rarely infects humans in Canada, but the death of a man in British Columbia who came into contact with a bat is a reminder to take precautions with wildlife…
  • R
    Title: Rabies nearly always kills when symptoms show, health officer says after Canadian fatality (Global News)
    Description: (July 17, 2019) A B.C. man has died of rabies in the first such case Canada has seen in seven years, and the province’s health officer is warning people that, while it’s rare, rabies nearly always kills when symptoms show up…
  • C
    Title: Christine Elliott downplays Premier Doug Ford’s health care comments (Global News)
    Description: (July 15, 2019) It will likely take longer than a year to end overcrowding in Ontario’s hospitals, despite a promise from Premier Doug Ford to tackle the problem in 12 months, the health minister said Monday…
  • O
    Title: Ontario Ministry of Health News Release: Ontario expanding life-changing treatment for patients with essential tremors: investments in frontline care will improve Ontarians’ quality of life (news.ontario.ca)
    Description: (July 15, 2019) Approximately four per cent of Ontarians aged 65 years and older are living with essential tremors—a condition that causes uncontrollable shaking that can make it challenging to complete simple tasks like fastening a button and drinking water…
  • S
    Title: Social media, but not video games, linked to depression in teens, according to Montreal study: study examined mental-health implications of high levels of screen time (CBC News)
    Description: (July 15, 2019) Screen time – and social media in particular – is linked to an increase in depressive symptoms in teenagers, according to a new study by researchers at Montreal’s Sainte-Justine Hospital…
  • O
    Title: Ontario prepares for ‘very difficult’ flu season, health minister says (CTV News)
    Description: (July 15, 2019) This year’s flu season will likely be a bad one, Ontario’s health minister said Monday, and the province is stocking up on extra high-strength vaccines in preparation…
  • B
    Title: B.C. man dies of rare viral rabies infection after contact with a bat (CTV News)
    Description: (July 16, 2019) A British Columbia man has died of a rare viral rabies infection, the first such case in the province since 2003…
  • H
    Title: Hamilton Health Sciences: Youth and vaping: no such thing as risk-free (hamiltonhealthsciences.ca)
    Description: (June 12, 2019) Vaping – it’s gone from relative obscurity to extreme popularity in just a few years. Vaping has recently gained cool status among teens for its reputation as a safer, less harmful, way to smoke. Because of its discrete look, sweet flavours,…
  • F
    Title: Fraud losses that led to firings at Baycrest estimated to be at least $4 million (CP24.com)
    Description: (July 11, 2019) A leading geriatric health-care facility has fired, or accepted the resignations of, about 150 employees amid allegations they defrauded their benefits plan of millions of dollars over the past eight years…
  • N
    Title: NOSM’s commitment to community involvement fills a niche in medical education, says the school’s new dean: Its strength comes from the parntnerships it has established in the community (Sudbury.com)
    Description: (July 11, 2019) The landscape of Ontario’s medical schools is more niche-oriented than those outside of the health-care field may be aware, and Laurentian’s Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) has its own unique place in that arena…
  • B
    Title: Be wary of the heat this summer [Dr. Nadia Alam] (Independent Free Press)
    Description: (July 11, 2019) I took my kids to the Glen for Canada Day festivities. We had loads of fun, but the thing that struck me the most was the heat. At high noon, as the parade was in full swing, there was little to no breeze or shade to cool bystanders…
  • F
    Title: Flu vaccine during pregnancy safe for both mother and child, study finds (CTV News)
    Description: (July 11, 2019) New research has found that despite some parents’ concerns, there appears to be no link between flu vaccination during pregnancy and later health problems in children…
  • D
    Title: Don’t skip out on travel vaccinations – they could save your life (Global News)
    Description: (July 11, 2019) It’s a step experts say you shouldn’t skip — when you’re travelling abroad, make sure you have the right vaccinations…
  • C
    Title: CIHI News Release: Falls and vehicle collisions top causes of injury hospitalizations for seniors (cihi.ca)
    Description: (July 11, 2019) In Canada, more than 137,500 seniors (age 65 and older) were hospitalized for injuries in 2017–2018, with most injuries caused by falls, according to new data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI)…
  • F
    Title: Falls are leading cause for seniors hospitalized due to injury: report (CTV News)
    Description: (July 11, 2019) Falls appear to be the leading cause of injuries that land seniors in hospital, according to newly released data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information that has experts calling for more preventative education on the issue…
  • C
    Title: CMAJ: Recruiting clinicians to combat pseudoscience on social media (cmajnews.com)
    Description: (July 10, 2019) Dr. Austin Chiang is jumping into uncharted territory. The busy gastroenterologist, who holds the unique role of Chief Medical Social Media Officer at Jefferson Health – with its extensive network of physicians and offices throughout Pennsylvania…
  • F
    Title: Flu vaccine safe for pregnant women, fetuses, Ottawa study shows: study followed more than 100K newborns until age 5 (CBC News)
    Description: (July 10, 2019) An Ottawa study shows no link between pregnant women receiving the H1N1 vaccine in 2009 and the health of their children in their first five years…
  • D
    Title: Doctors’ perspective on billings in Ontario [Dr. Sohail Gandhi] (Toronto Star)
    Description: (July 9, 2019) The Toronto Star has recently featured a series of articles about doctors’ billings. These articles have raised some questions about the value of services doctors provide compared to the value other health care providers offer…
  • C
    Title: Crackdown on unproven stem cell therapies long overdue, Ottawa doctor says: Dr. Michael Rudnicki says provinces need to follow Health Canada’s lead (CBC News)
    Description: (July 10, 2019) An Ottawa doctor says it’s about time Health Canada cracked down on clinics offering unproven and potentially unsafe treatments that inject patients with their own cells, and he’d like to see the provinces follow suit…
  • N
    Title: Novartis launches rival to EpiPen for allergy emergencies amid shortage in U.S.: both adult and pediatric doses of Symjepi to be available immediately (CBC News)
    Description: (July 9, 2019) A unit of Novartis AG said it would make partner Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corp’s emergency allergy shots immediately available in local pharmacies across the United States, amid a U.S. shortage of Mylan NV’s rival product, EpiPen…
  • B
    Title: B.C. eye doctors warn province of spike in glaucoma cases linked to injections of eye drug; B.C. Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons takes unusual step of hiring lawyer to press its demand that provincial government halt use of Avastin (Globe and Mail)
    Description: (July 9, 2019) [Gated] Thousands of retinal-disease patients in British Columbia are being exposed to an “increased risk of severe glaucoma and peripheral blindness” because toxins may be leaching into an injectable medication that is widely used in that province,…
  • A
    Title: Attawapiskat declares state of emergency over water quality: tap water shows potentially harmful levels of disinfection byproducts (CBC News)
    Description: (July 9, 2019) The Attawapiskat band council in northern Ontario has declared a state of emergency after tests showed tap water had potentially harmful levels of trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs) — byproducts of the disinfection process created…
  • M
    Title: Ministry of Health New Release: Ontario expanding midwifery services: investment in frontline care will give up to 3,400 more families more choices (news.ontario.ca)
    Description: (June 8, 2019) With more than 140,000 babies being welcomed to the world each year in Ontario, families are looking for more options when it comes to choosing their care. That’s why Ontario’s Government for the People is investing in frontline care by expanding…
  • W
    Title: Where is Canada’s plan to eliminate hepatitis C? Focusing on specific groups with tailored strategies is a way to tackle the threatening disease (Globe and Mail)
    Description: (July 9, 2019) [Gated] Nine countries – Australia, France, Iceland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and Britain – are on track toward eliminating hepatitis C by 2030. Like those countries, Canada signed a pledge to eliminate the debilitating,…
  • D
    Title: Doctors versus billing- OMA says it supports transparency on billings, June 29 [Dr. Sohail Gandhi] (Toronto Star)
    Description: (July 6, 2019) OMA says it supports transparency on billings, June 29. Thank you for the recent opportunity to answer some additional questions your reporters had about doctors’ billings. I am writing to clarify our position…
  • P
    Title: Province cutting jobs at North Simcoe Muskoka health agency (simcoe.com)
    Description: (July 6, 2019) Close to a dozen jobs and 20 vacant positions are being eliminated at a regional agency responsible for overseeing health care in the area. The cuts at the North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) are part of a broader plan…
  • Q
    Title: Q&A: Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s medical officer of health, on dealing with Doug Ford’s cuts: measles is back, anti-vaxxers are on the march, but she’s still optimistic (Toronto Life)
    Description: (July 5, 2019) The Ford government recently announced hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to Toronto Public Health over the coming decade. Where were you when you heard the news?…
  • P
    Title: Patients increasingly whipping out phones to film medical procedures (CityNews 1130)
    Description: (July 5, 2019) Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat. We have to get the best videos to ensure our friends are still interested in us. But have you ever wanted to shoot a video of your doctor performing a medical procedure on you? New research is showing a big difference…
  • P
    Title: Premier Ford, please help deliver pharmacare (St. Catharines Standard)
    Description: (July 5, 2019) Dear Premier Ford, June 12, 2019 could go down as a major milestone in the history of health care in Canada. But the people of Ontario need your help to make this so. On that day, an advisory council of experts delivered to Canada a detailed…
  • F
    Title: Federal response to opioid crisis leaves half dissatisfied: poll (London Free Press)
    Description: (July 5, 2019) Almost half of Canadians aren’t satisfied with the federal government’s response to the deadly opioid drug crisis sweeping the country, especially in the West where the crisis began before moving east, a new national poll suggests…
  • Q
    Title: QW physician recruitment program signs third doctor (Belleville Intelligencer)
    Description: (July 5, 2019) Just one month after securing its second family physician, the Quinte West physician recruitment and retention program has signed Dr. Alicia Schreader to a medical services agreement…
  • C
    Title: Culture change required for proper care of dementia patients (Toronto Sun)
    Description: (July 6, 2019) Expect to hear more about cognitive loss as seniors become an ever-larger segment of the population. Treatment for dementia and similar brain disorders has changed dramatically in the last 20 years, and new centres devoted entirely to the care…
  • T
    Title: Toronto Public Health News Release: Toronto Public Health releases report on risks associated with increased access to alcohol (Toronto.ca)
    Description: (July 5, 2019) The Province of Ontario recently announced changes to how alcohol is sold in Ontario. Evidence shows that increasing access to alcohol is associated with increased consumption and potential for alcohol-related harms. Following a request from…
  • C
    Title: City’s top doc warns of alcohol perils in new report on PC budget: ‘This isn’t about picking a fight with Doug Ford,’ board of health chair says (CBC News)
    Description: (July 6, 2019) The city’s medical officer of health is warning of serious side effects from provincial budget measures that loosen restrictions on alcohol consumption…
  • C
    Title: CPSO Dialogue: Opioid prescribing (cpso.on.ca)
    Description: (July 3, 2019) Addressing the challenges of legacy patients, the effect of the Canadian guidelines and the importance of patient collaboration…
  • T
    Title: The story of the opioid crisis, told on skin (Globe and Mail)
    Description: (July 4, 2019) [Gated] The opioids crisis is killing an average of 12 people day in Canada, leaving friends and family struggling for ways to cope with a deep and sudden loss. One way is to record it on their skin…
  • M
    Title: Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services News Release: Statement from the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services Todd Smith :Supporting Ontario children and families living with autism (news.on.ca)
    Description: (July 3, 2019) This morning, the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, Todd Smith, stood with his colleagues, Christine Elliott, Minister of Health, and Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues, to announce our government’s…
  • M
    Title: Ministry of Health News Release: Ontario expands newborn screening program province now leads Canada in newborn screening with new permanent hearing loss risk test (news.ontario.ca)
    Description: (July 3, 2019) Genetic factors and infections are the leading causes of permanent hearing loss for newborns and young children. That’s why the Ontario government is putting people and patients first by continuing to deliver on its promise to protect what matters…
  • M
    Title: Ministry of the Attorney General News Release: Ontario moving forward with next round of cannabis stores province to conduct second licence lottery, add 50 new stores (news.ontario.ca)
    Description: (July 3, 2019) The Ontario Government is taking the next step to combat the illegal market and protect our youth and communities by moving to the next phase of its plan to license private cannabis retail stores. This is in response to the federal government’s…
  • C
    Title: CMAJ News: Challenges of treating chronic pain contributing to burnout in primary care (cmajnews.ca)
    Description: (July 3, 2019) Primary care providers who treat patients with chronic pain appear to be exhibiting signs of burnout, in large part because they often feel unable to help patients overcome their complex challenges…
  • H
    Title: Hospital News: Physical and mental illnesses combined increase emergency department visits (hospitalnews.com)
    Description: (July 3, 2019) People with both physical illnesses and mental disorders visit the emergency department more frequently than people with multiple physical illnesses or mental illness alone, according to a study in CMAJ (http://www.cmaj.ca/content/191/26/E724)……
  • U
    Title: U of T News: Vivek Goel re-appointed U of T’s vice-president of research and innovation, takes on expanded role (utoronto.ca)
    Description: (June 27, 2019) The University of Toronto ranks among the world’s top universities when it comes to research output and impact – and, increasingly, it’s seeking to harness the sheer size and scope of its research footprint to solve some of the world’s toughest…
  • H
    Title: Hospital for Sick Kids: Drs. Ray Buncic and Chaim Roifman appointed to Order of Canada (sickkids.ca)
    Description: (July 3, 2019) Dr. Ray Buncic, Staff Ophthalmologist, Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, and Dr. Chaim Roifman, Staff Physician, Immunology and Allergy at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) were recently appointed as Members of the Order of Canada…
  • H
    Title: Hospital ER visits declining, but Windsor Regional Hospital seeing sicker patients: Windsor hospital says caretakers are also seeing more patients with mental health and addiction needs (CBC News)
    Description: (July 4, 2019) Though Windsor Regional Hospital is seeing a steady decline in ER visits, hospital president and CEO David Musyj says his facility is seeing sicker patients come through the doors…
  • F
    Title: Facebook to tackle posts with misleading health claims: social media company said it had made 2 updates last month to reduce posts with ‘sensational’ claims (CBC News)
    Description: (July 3, 2019) Facebook Inc said on Tuesday it was taking steps to reduce promotion of products based on misleading health-related claims. In a blog post, the social media company said it had made two updates last month to reduce posts with exaggerated or “sensational”…
  • F
    Title: Ford says government needs to determine real number of autism waitlist after internal review found PCs inflated size (Globe and Mail)
    Description: (Jul 2, 2019) [Gated] Mr. Ford offered conflicting statements about the size of the waitlist and whether he accepted that previous estimates were inaccurate. Premier Doug Ford says his government needs to determine the real number of children waiting for autism…
  • B
    Title: ByWard Market supervised injection trailer to get permanent home: will be set up in Shepherds of Good Hope building; likely open in 2020 (CBC News)
    Description: (July 3, 2019) A permanent supervised injection site will be built in the ByWard Market, replacing the one in a converted construction trailer in the parking lot of the Shepherds of Good Hope shelter on Murray Street…
  • O
    Title: Overdose prevention workers save thousands of lives, but who’s saving theirs? (Toronto Star)
    Description: (July 3, 2019) [Gated] Keren Elumir saves lives at the Moss Park overdose prevention site in Toronto. It is relentless work: a particularly bad day saw 10 people overdose in a six-hour period. “We were kind of joking the other day that we cleaned the entire…
  • T
    Title: The Drinker: ‘It ripped me apart’ — Windsor man among legions of Canadians battling alcohol dependency (Windsor Star)
    Description: (July 1, 2019) With so much attention focused on deadly addictions to opioids and meth, alcohol has been overshadowed, despite that it costs society more — in dollars and deaths. Starting today, Postmedia examines the Southwestern Ontario toll in a three-part…
  • R
    Title: Rural communities facing ‘stark choice’ over care home cuts: provincial funding cuts may mean some municipalities reduce services (CBC News)
    Description: (July 1, 2019) Municipalities in eastern Ontario are facing the choice of either funding long-term care homes themselves or reducing services to make up for cuts from the provincial government…
  • M
    Title: Marijuana at a young age can have long-term consequences: Dr. Raj Basker says there are roughly 400 chemicals within cannabis but we only know 4 of them (CBC News)
    Description: (July 2, 2019) The 1980’s mantra of ‘just say no’ to drugs may sound like a tired cliché — but doctors dealing with teen addiction say it’s time to bring it back…
  • S
    Title: Statistics Canada: Suicide among First Nations people, Métis and Inuit (2011-2016): findings from the 2011 Canadian Census Health and Environment Cohort (CanCHEC) (150.statcan.gc.ca)
    Description: (June 28, 2019) Previous research has extensively documented the historical and ongoing impacts of colonization, forced placement of Indigenous children in residential schools in the 19th and the 20th centuries, removal of Indigenous children from their families…