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Thursday, December 7th, 2017

 

Healthcare wait times for medically necessary treatments in this country have hit a new record of just over 21 weeks eclipsing 20 weeks, for the second year in a row. But there is an exception to this, for cancer treatment. A new study has just been released by the Fraser Institute, self – described as an independent, non- partisan Canadian public policy think tank. The study authors examined the total wait time faced by patients across 12 medical specialties from referral by a family doctor to consultation with a specialist to when the patient ultimately receives treatment. Ontario continues to have the shortest wait times at just over 15 weeks and New Brunswick recorded the longest wait time at nearly 42 weeks.  Among the various specialties, national wait times are longest for orthopedic surgery at almost 42 weeks, and neurosurgery at 33 weeks  with the shortest for cancer treatment at just over 3 weeks. We speak with Bacchus Barua, Associate Director of Health Policy Studies at the Fraser Institute and Dr. Shawn Whatley President, OMA Board Director Ontario Medical Association about the report.

Auditor general Bonnie Lysyk released her annual report today which concerns many issues one being that the Independent Electricity System Operator hasn’t implemented repeated recommendations from the Ontario Energy Board, including one that could save ratepayers $30 million a year. Other findings in the report include the Government financial statements being “unreliable,” concealing a deficit of up to $4.5 billion, Ontario is “not fully prepared” for large-scale emergencies, we Ontarians pay 70 per cent more than New Zealand for generic medications provided through public drug programs,  and the province spends $19 million a year to maintain 812 vacant government buildings, with 600 of them vacant for an average of eight years and Ontario has the one of the largest waiting lists in the country for social housing, at 3.4 per cent of the population. Another important topic in the report findings that most cancer patients are getting timely treatment but ‎the full cost of cancer drugs is not covered by OHIP unless patients receive them in a hospital, unlike four other provinces and that support services for cancer patients with side effects from treatment are “inadequate,” forcing many to emergency rooms at least once. We spoke with Tory MPP John Yakabuski and Bob Bick, the co-founder of Cancertainty about the report.

If you’re planning to travel this winter, our trusted contributor from the Ontario Pharmacists Association, Pharmacist John Papastergiou advises on how to best prepare for our medical needs before we head south. We’ll be talking about everything from vaccines and other precautionary shots, depending on your destination – to how to pack medication and get emergency prescriptions when out of town and much more.

Most Zoomer want to stay living in their homes as long as possible. We find out the  best ways to renovate your home to make it possible to age in place with experts  Andrew Wood owner of Ecnomus Construction Group, red seal carpenter James Barber, an Ontario College of Trades member. Tracey Shepherd, Senior Bilingual Communications Officer, Ontario College of Trades also joins us to give us some ideas on how to reduce household expenses.