Privatizing health care is no panacea

Alberta’s UCP government is looking to privatization as a cure for what ails Alberta’s public health care system. Bill 30 allows for-profit corporations to bill the government directly for medical services and 30% of surgeries conducted in Alberta will be done in private facilities by 2023.  Despite ample evidence suggesting the opposite, the Kenney governmentContinue reading “Privatizing health care is no panacea”

National Pharmacare: A prescription for change

Canada is the only developed country with universal health care but no national pharmacare program.  In the recent throne speech, the federal Liberals pledged to change that.  But Canadians have heard this before from our government with little action to date. It is time that we hold them to their promise. Drugs account for theContinue reading “National Pharmacare: A prescription for change”

Basic Income: An idea whose time has come

The Canadian Emergency Relief Benefit comes to an end in a few weeks, putting many Canadians in a state of anxiety and insecurity about how they will pay for basics such as food, housing and transportation. Rather than moving back to the Employment Insurance program fraught with problems, the Government of Canada has the opportunityContinue reading “Basic Income: An idea whose time has come”

Impact of COVID-19 on children

Seniors are at highest risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 infection but children may suffer effects from the pandemic over an entire lifetime. The direct impact of COVID-19 on children is usually asymptomatic or mild infection with only rare hospitalization or ICU admission.   But, the impact of school closures, economic shutdowns and socialContinue reading “Impact of COVID-19 on children”

Public policy determines health and well-being

If you have read my previous commentaries, you may have found yourself wondering why a medical doctor would write about public policy. In the first twenty years of my career, I worked in clinics, emergency rooms and intensive care units.  Sometimes, it seemed that no matter how hard I worked or how much I caredContinue reading “Public policy determines health and well-being”

A new vision for our towns and cities

Our small mountain towns are joining the ranks of world-class cities in pedestrianizing streets in the downtown core.  The Towns of Banff and Canmore are mirroring actions in big cities like Paris, New York and Milan to make more space on downtown streets for people to maintain social distance while enjoying the commercial and recreationalContinue reading “A new vision for our towns and cities”

Re-imagining Work: We can do better

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a great revealer.  While creating new challenges, it is also shining a light on those problems in our society that we have chosen to ignore.   The pandemic has opened our eyes to the plight of seniors in long-term care, inadequate housing on reserves, and crowded shelters for the homeless. AsContinue reading “Re-imagining Work: We can do better”

Confidence during the COVID-19 Crisis

In times of crisis, we reap the benefits of the society we have built around us.  This is why knowing that I live in Canada lets me sleep better at night.  Although the novel coronavirus causing the global pandemic is virtually identical in all parts of the world, it is having dramatically different consequences inContinue reading “Confidence during the COVID-19 Crisis”

Public schools matter

Universal access to publicly-funded healthcare is a source of national pride and a social policy that Canadians are willing to go to great lengths to defend.  But how passionate are we about preserving a robust public education system?  Recent events locally and provincially challenge our resolve on this very issue.  Exshaw School is under threatContinue reading “Public schools matter”