Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The private cost of health-care queues in Canada


Our closed government-heavy system stands in stark contrast to other universal health-care systems that have shorter wait times



By Bacchus Barua
Associate director of the Centre for Health Policy Studies
The Fraser Institute
Bacchus Barua
Bacchus Barua
It's no secret that Canadians face some of the longest health-care wait times in the developed world. According to the Fraser Institute's annual survey of physicians, at 21.2 weeks from referral to treatment, Canadians waited longer in 2017 than ever before.
And for some patients, wait times can have serious consequences.
While this may be obvious for patients in need of critical care, it's also true for Canadians waiting for medically necessary elective care such as hip replacements, hernia repair, cataract removal, aneurysm surgery and non-emergency pacemaker operations, for example.
It's estimated that more than one in 10 patients are adversely affected by waiting for non-emergency surgery. Physicians indicate that patients wait longer than what's considered clinically reasonable. And, of course, of the more than one million Canadians who waited for care in 2017, many would likely prefer to receive treatment earlier if possible.
The reasons are obvious. Patients waiting for treatment may be in pain, may be worried, and may have to depend on family or friends for assistance, or hire caregivers. In the most unfortunate cases, patients may also see their conditions worsen, from simpler and more treatable conditions to more complex, debilitating and perhaps permanent or fatal disabilities.
And then there's the economic cost, in the form of lost wages and productivity. Based only on the wait from specialist consultation to treatment (10.9 weeks on average across Canada in 2017), and the number of hours in the normal work week, wait times cost the Canadian economy an estimated $1.9 billion - roughly $1,800 per person waiting. And this is a conservative estimate, which excludes the wait to see a specialist (10.2 weeks in 2017) and places no value on non-working hours spent pain-free. If you include hours outside the work week (while still excluding eight hours for sleep), the cost of waiting goes up to $5.8 billion or roughly $5,600 per patient.
Of course, only patients experience the true cost of waiting for treatment. However, even rough estimates are useful to remind policy-makers of the need for reform.
But waiting is not a necessary price to pay for universal health care. Countries such as Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden, France and Australia all share the goal of universal access to care, and spend about the same as we do, but don't have our long wait times.
Why?
Perhaps because they do universal health care differently by embracing the private sector, expecting patients to share in the cost of treatment (with exemptions for vulnerable groups), and incentivizing hospitals to treat patients through activity-based funding by procedure or case, rather than 'global budgets' common in Canada. Our closed government-heavy system stands in stark contrast to other universal health-care systems that have shorter wait times.
Sadly, the data have been clear for a long time. Despite spending increases, wait times for medically necessary elective treatment in Canada are remarkably long and have been getting longer for years.
However, we must remember that these long waits are not simply statistics - they underscore the reality that many patients in Canada suffer pain and anxiety due to the nature of our system.
It's time to do something about wait times by reforming policies or, at very least, offering patients an alternative when they need it most.
Bacchus Barua is associate director of the Fraser Institute's Centre for Health Policy Studies.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Ditch the Chemical-Laced, GMO Hot Dogs this BBQ Season -- Get The True Story™ About Organic Hot Dogs




When it comes time to enjoy the summer, for many, grilling is a must. Unfortunately, that often means sacrificing health for great taste. True Story™ makes it easy to have both with  organic, non-GMO hot dogs and sausages made with only a few simple, real ingredients.



SAN FRANCISCO, June, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Not all hot dogs and sausages are created equal.  In fact, the lowest quality of these types of food – laced with chemicals and additives – barely even qualify for the name and more resemble something like a science project. The good news is that True Story, makers of Organic or Project Non-GMO Certified meats have the solution to this problem well-handled. The company provides a healthy alternative this hot dog season with their famous Organic Grass-Fed Beef Hot Dogs, perfect for fun times at the grill this summer. The only 'additives' you'll get with these hot dogs are the ones you want, like good ol' mustard and relish.
"Our hot dogs are a lot different than the ones I had growing up; wholesome, gluten-free, Non-GMO and never with anything artificial added," notes Kathryn Winstanley, Vice President of Marketing at True Story Foods. "These are the hotdogs you can be proud of, whether you are a San Francisco Yogi or Dad at a tailgate party."
True Story's all-natural line-up of Organic/non-GMO varieties perfect for summer include:
  • Organic Grass Fed Beef Hot Dogs
  • Organic Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage
  • Organic Thick Cut Oven Roasted Chicken Breast - A 2017 Expo East Nexty Winner
  • Organic Uncured Applewood Smoked Ham
Enjoy these globe-trotting recipes from True Story foods, and elevate your grill time:
True Story Italiano Hot Dog: Add some Italian flavor to your next hot dog http://www.truestoryfoods.com/recipes/italiano-hot-dog
True Story Tropical Hot Dog: Mustard, relish and ketchup? You're outta here! A medley of tropical flavors to discover a whole new ballgame in a bun http://www.truestoryfoods.com/recipes/tropical-hot-dogs
About True Story:
What is True Story's Mission? True Story believes in a future of food that is a return to what is real and true. A future that is respectful of the source of our food –the soil, the animals, and the farmers. True Story is nurturing a community of family farmers, artisan producers, progressive retailers, and food lovers who are dedicated to this future.
True Story is available nationally in select natural and traditional grocery retailers and Costco. For more information, visit www.truestoryfoods.com.
Media contact:
Stacey Bender
197053@email4pr.com
973-744-0707


SOURCE True Story Foods

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Vinitaly Roadshow China: debut in Shenzhen, Changsha and Wuhan 11-14 June


ITALIAN WINE. FOCUS ON CHINA FOR VINITALY: THE NEW ROADSHOW SETS OFF TODAY

-          B2b mission for 46 companies including Italian wine cellars and distributors; tastings involving more than 300 labels. More than 500 accredited operators for the first stop-off
-          The Vinitaly-Nomisma Observatory estimates an average annual increase of 7.5% in Italian wine exports to China through to 2020. This is higher than the expected overall average local growth in demand of 6% per year
-          Collaboration with ICE-Italian Trade Agency is confirmed with the organisation of "I love Italian wines" training courses.

Verona, 11 June 2018 - Shenzhen, Changsha and Wuhan. These are the new stop-offs for the Vinitaly roadshow scheduled in China 11-14 June, whereby Veronafiere consolidates its presence in Asia, after trips to Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Chengdu and Vinitaly International Academy appointments.
The trade mission travels to three cities in the south-east of the country, totalling more than 40 million inhabitants. The future of demand for wine in China will be concentrated in cities, given the growing importance of an upper class enjoying high spending power (25% of the population by 2022) and a urbanization rate that will increase by 5 points over the next five years to 63%.
According to data published by the Vinitaly-Nomisma Wine Monitor Observatory, wine consumption in China grew by 3% in 2017 compared to 2016 with imports coming to 2.5 billion euros - thereby doubling in value over the last ten years. Italy's market share in the opening months of 2018 sis 7% and growth margins for Italian exports are consequently still very high. Yet the first vital step in winning over new consumers is to promote the quality and variety of Italian wine production among importers, agents and the horeca channel.
With this objective in mind, Vinitaly - the leading international event in the sector organised by Veronafiere - has scheduled three events in Shenzen (11 June) Changsha (13 June) and Wuhan (14 June), bringing together 46 companies in China, including Italian wine cellars and Chinese distributors.
The formula envisages three days dedicated to b2b meetings and tastings of more than 300 labels exclusively for reserved for select professional audience. More than 500 operators have been accredited for the first stop-off in Shenzen. The implementation of the roadshow sees Vinitaly flanked by ICE-Italian Trade Agency, thereby complementing scheduled activities with the "I love Italian wines" training courses promoting awareness of more than 500 Italian native grape varieties. The initiative in China also welcomes the collaboration of Shenzen Pacco Cultural Communication, that already organizes the important IWSS-International Wine and Spirits Show in Chengdu.
"These three cities," said Giovanni Mantovani, CEO of Veronafiere, "are strategic hubs for spreading the culture, history and lifestyle of Italian wine with a view to encouraging consumption. Italian wine exports to China have increased by 50% over the last ten years but we are still a long way behind the results achieved by our competitors. The Vinitaly-Nomisma observatory has estimated through to 2022 an overall increase in Chinese wine imports of 6% per year and 7.5% for Italian labels. This is the catchment of potential consumers we must focus on, not the least thanks to the support of ICE-Italian Trade Agency, with which we continue to work profitably within the scope of the Special Made in Italy Promotion Plan."



Monday, June 11, 2018

Food Addiction Is a Real Thing. But So Is the Power of Hope



Recovered Food Addict develops a proven program to release suffers from the bonds of 
Food Addiction and move them into a life of hope and Food Serenity.





TORONTO, June, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Food Addiction is a prominent issue in society with over 10% of the general population deeply addicted to food or overeating. The problem is real and millions are suffering. Sandra Elia used to be one of them.
At her worst, Sandra Elia reached over 260 pounds and felt defeated from failed diets and empty promises from dieticians. She'd had enough. She set out to conquer her addiction to food and won - losing over one hundred pounds and keeping it off for over 13 years. This fueled Elia's passion to help others break free and to create The Food Addiction Recovery Program in partnership with medical doctors specializing in the treatment of obesity. This program was Ontario's first government-funded [OHIP: Ontario Health Insurance Plan] 12-week outpatient program for Food Addiction Recovery.
Being a problem that Elia deeply understands, she wanted to develop a clear and effective program for successful healing from Food Addiction. She now has a proven method to get everyone to a place of Food Serenity.
"Food Serenity, as I call it, is about remembering who you really are, and what you really need to feel nourished, loved, and accepted," Elia explains.
Addictive eating is mindless eating, she adds. The antidote is mindfulness, leading to regaining the power of choice. This involves developing interventions, techniques, and a daily spiritual practice.
Elia guides clients in mastering their thinking to end the mind chatter that comes with compulsive overeating so they can experience food freedom. They finally come to a place where they can deal with intense feelings without using food.  Understanding the role dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins play in compulsive overeating are key. To guide others on how to overcome these triggers, Elia developed a cognitive behavioral therapy technique to remain calm and confident while facing cravings and urges. Over time, creating new neural pathways ends the addiction loop.
One of Elia's most effective programs is her 5-day Intensive Program. As one of the world's first Certified Food Addiction Counselors, Elia is a true pioneer in this field and developed her own system for taking clients out of their environment and placing them into a therapeutic and natural setting. This gives them a chance to detox from ultra-processed foods, extinguish cravings for sugar, and eat to stabilize hormones. Clients achieve appetite correction and come to a place of neutrality with food.
Each day of the 5-Day Intensive Program features a talk from a world-renowned expert in Food Addiction and Obesity Management. A daily visit from a chef ensures all clients leave with a solid understanding of meal preparation.
Along with personally helping others struggling with food addiction, Elia is working with a professional team to hopefully develop a formal diagnosis of Food Addiction in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5). The DSM is the handbook used by healthcare professionals in the United States and much of the world as the authoritative guide to the diagnosis of mental disorders with descriptions, symptoms, and other criteria.
Sandra and her team are striving to educate healthcare providers and offer appropriate assistance to those who suffer with addictive eating. She has worked diligently with a professional team comprised of medical doctors, addiction doctors, researchers, physiologists and physiatrists to develop these programs that have yielded tremendous success. Through these programs, clients have achieved personal success including losing weight, reducing certain medicines, and most importantly, breaking free from Food Addiction.

More about Sandra Elia
Sandra Elia knows first-hand the pain of living with morbid obesity. She has made it her life's mission to help others recover from addictive eating.
She is a Coaches Training Institute (CTI) Certified Professional Coach, and the Vice Chair for the Canadian Obesity Network (Toronto Chapter). The Canadian Obesity Network is Canada's authoritative voice on evidence-based approaches for obesity prevention, treatment, and policy.
Elia hosted a radio show on VIBE 105.5FM called "Your Daily Diet, A Spiritual Guide to a Healthy Body Size," which broadcasted to a base residential audience of over 1.6 million. Through that and other programs, she helps people tackle their minds and correct their thinking patterns, which is the single greatest obstacle to losing weight. Her brand's focus is on healing the whole person - mind, body, and spirit.
Learn more about Elia, her successful programs and the truth about Food Addiction at http://sandraelia.com.
Contact:
Sandra Elia
196669@email4pr.com
http://sandraelia.com
416-986-0006
http://sandraelia.com/presskit/
https://www.facebook.com/foodaddictionprogram
https://twitter.com/sandraelia_ca
https://www.linkedin.com/in/sandra-elia/ 
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGZMdB9AzmZ8aDSILWQCrVA

https://www.instagram.com/sandraelia.ca/


SOURCE Sandra Elia

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Picnic Perfect Recipes

No picnic would be complete without these pack and go perfect picnic recipes. Celebrate the lovely weather with these salads and sandwiches and take these delicious bites outside.




Monday, June 4, 2018

How to shorten hospital wait times in Canada


We can address the supply of surgical procedures, the demand for surgery and improve co-ordination within the system



By David Urbach
Expert Advisor
EvidenceNetwork.ca
David Urbach
David Urbach
Long wait times are the vulnerable soft underbelly of the Canadian health system.
Canadians treasure our single-payer, publicly-funded program of physician and hospital care, virtually as a defining part of our national identity. And yet, increasing legal and political pressure over quick access to elective surgeries - cataract extraction and joint replacement, for example - threaten to undermine that support.
The Commonwealth Fund 2017 report ranked Canada last among 11 countries in timeliness of care.
And a case before the British Columbia Supreme Court aims to topple provincial regulations that limit private payment for medically necessary services, claiming that surgical wait times for elective procedures such as arthroscopic knee surgery violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The truth is that few people anywhere in the world are in love with their health-care system. Canada is no exception. Why?
Modern health care is expensive - so expensive, at C$5,900 per person per year in Canada, US$9,900 in the U.S. and £2,900 in the U.K., that it costs more than many people are happy to pay, whether through taxation, insurance premiums or out-of-pocket.
Many Americans still lack health insurance and even insured Americans may not be approved for every treatment they desire. Among developed countries, Germany has the highest public support for their health system but even there, 40 per cent believe the system requires fundamental changes or a complete rebuild. Sound familiar?
But this doesn't mean Canadians are doomed to long waits for elective surgery forever. There's actually much that can be done fairly easily without resorting to private payment. We can address the supply of surgical procedures, the demand for surgery and improve co-ordination within the system to gain significant improvements.
Increasing the supply of surgery can be achieved by paying hospitals using "activity-based funding" payments for each procedure they do for surgeries like joint replacements, rather than receiving an annual global budget in the hope that they will meet the demand. Reimagining the way we use hospitals, incorporating new anesthesia techniques and virtual care to transform common procedures like joint replacement to day surgery can reduce costs and free hospital beds to further increase the supply of surgical procedures.
The demand for surgery is also elastic. Removing people who aren't in dire need of surgery from waiting lists improves access for those in greater need of services. It also prevents the overtreatment of healthy people, which is rampant in many areas of medicine - 32 per cent of patients waiting for cataract surgery in B.C. had near-perfect vision, in just one example.
Ironically, the case before the B.C. court - the most pressing legal challenge to the constitutionality of Canadian medicare - is in part about access to arthroscopic knee surgery, a procedure that might actually cause more harm than benefit in some patient groups.
Wait times in Canada may be long on average, but they're not long everywhere. Take the example of knee replacement surgery in Ontario. At first glance, the waits certainly seem long: in 2017, only 78 per cent of people had their knee replacement within the recommended six months and 10 per cent waited longer than nine months. In spite of this, half of all people actually had their surgery within three months.
Why is it that some people have surgery quickly and others wait?
Mostly because there's little co-ordination of surgical practices. Long ago, other industries adopted effective queue-management strategies that prevent situations where some people wait much longer than others. Single-entry models - where all people enter one queue and take the next available slot once they get to the front of the line - smooth out the waits and increase efficiency in banks, fast-food restaurants and at Disneyland.
Centralized intake, triage and referral of patients to appropriate heath-care providers - taking advantage of inter-disciplinary teams including nurses and physiotherapists - would go a long way to reducing variation in wait times and improving access to surgery.
Medicare is not perfect, but it's still very good at providing excellent quality care to all Canadians who become ill and require hospital and physician services. Decisive action to improve wait times is necessary to maintain the public confidence required to preserve our unique health-care system for future generations.
The good news is that this can be done by fixing medicare's problems with surgical precision, without killing the patient in the process.
David R. Urbach, MD is an expert adviser with EvidenceNetwork.ca, surgeon-in-chief at Women's College Hospital, Toronto and professor of Surgery and Health Policy at the University of Toronto. He is also senior innovation fellow, Women's College Hospital Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care (WIHV).