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Home Policy Articles: Welfare & Social Issues: Health Care


2001 (2)
2002 (1)
2003 (3)
2004 (7)
2005 (3)
2006 (8)
2007 (1)


Health Care Reforms: Just How Far Can We Go? popular

Philippe H. Trudel, Bruce W. Johnston, and Michel Bédard explore what kinds of health care reforms can occur under existing laws. They also examine how much room the provinces have to manoeuvre under current federal legislation, namely, the Canada Health Act, as well as which laws reform-minded provincial governments could modify.

2006 Manitoba Alternative Budget: Investing in Tomorrow, Today

Even though there have been positive signs in the Manitoban economy, this paper cautions that problems lie ahead: a) a growing gap between rich and poor; b) the inequality between women and men in income; c) poor environmental policy; d) a growing concern for farmers; e) a failing health care system; and f) a crumbling urban infrastructure.

Access Delayed, Access Denied. Waiting for Medicines in Canada

Brett Skinner, Mark Rovere, and Courtney Glen analyze the time that patients must wait between the discovery of a new drug and its availability to Canadian consumers.

Demographic Trends and Socio-Economic Sustainability in Saskatchewan: Some Policy Considerations

In this paper Janice Stokes studies the unique demographic makeup of Saskatchewan and discusses some of the negative implications it may have on the socio-economic stability of the province including a dwindling workforce, a strain on healthcare and problematic race relations.

Denied Assistance: Closing the Front Door on Welfare in BC

While acknowledging that welfare rates in British Columbia have been lowering since 1995, Wallace, Klein and Reitsma-Street suggest that while the BC government’s discriminatory policy changes were designed to create reduction, many changes, including eligibility rules and application processes, dealt with superficial issues such as how people access welfare.

Drug Price Controls and Pharmaceutical Innovation

Drug costs in Canada have risen more quickly than other health care costs. As Valentin Petkantchin explains, this increase is not due to increases by multinational pharmaceutical companies, but rather to other factors including more frequent use of drugs and higher markups at the wholesale and retail levels.

Getting the Balance Right: Saskatchewan Alternative Budget, 2006-07

This alternative Saskatchewan budget, presented by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, focuses on three areas that the Centre considers undervalued: economic security, health services, and education.

Health Care Spending, Fiscal Sustainability, and Public Investment

In his study “Health Care Spending, Fiscal Sustainability, and Public Investment,” Joe Ruggeri, Director of the Policy Studies Centre at the University of New Brunswick, analyzes three major issues on the debate on health care policy in Canada.

How should the value of new drugs be determined?

Rising drug costs in Canada’s health care system have raised overall concerns about the costs of new, patented drugs. As Valentin Petkantchin explains, many people believe the costs of producing patented drug prices are less than what drug companies state.

Intergovernmental Relations, Social Policy and Federal Transfers After Romanow

This article by Tom McIntosh, originally published in the Spring 2004 edition of Canadian Public Administration, explores the old and new intergovernmental dynamics around federal transfers to the provinces for health and social policy spending in the aftermath of the Romanow Report.

Maintaining Investment in Nova Scotians: Alternative Provincial Budget 2006-2007

According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the Nova Scotian provincial government underestimates its surpluses. This propensity for underestimation stifles debate on how public funds should be distributed, and thereby diminishes the opportunities available to improve services and infrastructure.

Medicine, Professionalism and Conscience: Is Pluralism “One Size Fits All”?

In this paper Cristina Alarcon explores “the false dichotomy and growing lack of tolerance towards religious belief that permeates the medical profession in Western society.”

Moving Forward: Alternative Federal Budget 2006

Analyzing the federal Conservative minority platform, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives presents an alternative federal budget that honours commitments to prior parliamentary decisions (including child care, First Nations, cities and Kyoto), improves the lives of Canadians, and meets international obligations (including aid commitments)

Public Remedies, Not Private Payments: Quality Health Care in Alberta

According to Tammy Horne and Susan Abells, the Alberta government has instilled in Albertans the notion that the province’s public health system is on the brink of fiscal collapse.

Public-Private Partnerships: A Review of Literature and Practice

Ken Fyke’s report on the future of Medicare in Saskatchewan comes at a politically delicate time for the provincial government, when caution may become the order of the day. Contrarily, it may not like missing an important opportunity to once again demonstrate to the rest of the country that Saskatchewan is still a leader in health policy innovation.

R-e-s-p-i-t-e Spells Respect

The continued growth of Canada’s aging population will place excessive pressure on informal caregivers. As Sherri Torjman explains, home care is a crucial yet neglected building block in Canada’s national health care system.

Romanow and Beyond: A Primer on Health Reform Issues in Canada

This report by Cathy Fooks and Steven Lewis has two stated objectives: to highlight the key themes found in provincial and national health reform reports over the last 5 years and to identify “areas of agreement and disagreement within the key themes.” The provincial reports of Alberta, New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan are evaluated, as are the National Forum report, Senate Committee report and the Interim Report from the Romanow Commission.

Saskatchewan’s Commission on Medicare: Five Commentaries

Ken Fyke’s report on the future of Medicare in Saskatchewan comes at a politically delicate time for the provincial government, when caution may become the order of the day.

Should cigarettes be banned in public places?

Valentin Petkantchin examines smoking bans from an economic perspective. France is the context for his discussion, though he makes comparisons with other countries.

The Dementia Respite Bungalow

Anne Makhoul begins by describing the impact of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia on caregivers. This impact will become more severe as Canada’s population ages and the country’s declining birthrate creates a smaller segment of individuals to provide care.

Three Choices for the Future of Medicare

Gregory Marchildon examines what he considers three choices for the future of medicare: 1) the status quo: death by stealth; 2) tax transfer: death by execution; and 3) Ottawa as a real partner in medicare.

Turning to the private sector in health care: The Swedish example

In this Economic Note the authors present Sweden as an example of how Canada can use market mechanisms to increase the efficiency of Canada’s ailing health care system.

Two myths about the U.S. health care system

Common criticisms of the US health care system are the lack of universality and the high percentage of those without coverage. Norma Kozhaya deconstructs these myths.

Using private insurance to finance health care

Valentin Petkantchin explores whether allowing private health insurance is a good idea.

We Can’t Afford Poverty: Ontario Alternative Budget 2006

In a response to the March 2006 Ontario provincial budget, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives presented an alternative budget that it suggested would aid in developing a stronger public service system. Financial inequalities, public service deficits, and tax cuts are the three areas of focus.