Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Health Crisis in Palestine

April 6th: A Panel of Canadian Health Professionals Discuss their Experiences in Palestine

Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is proud to host a distinguished panel of speakers including Dr. Harry Shannon, Dr. Miriam Garfinkle, Dr. Jim Deutsch and Judith Deutsch. The discussion, open to the general public, is entitled “Health Crisis in Palestine: A Panel of Canadian Health Care Professionals give First Hand Accounts,and will be presented in Toronto.

The panel is composed of Canadian health care professionals and researchers who have first hand accounts of the devastating effects of Israeli occupation and aggression on the health of Palestinians in both Gaza and the West Bank. Among other panelists, Dr. Harry Shannon, professor of clinical epidemiology from McMaster University, will comment on his provocative article titled “Gaza’s shocking devastation: A Canadian Jew’s visit to the territory that left him ashamed by what he saw,” published last year in the Hamilton Spectator.

The panel will take place Monday April 6, 2009 from 7:00PM-9:00PM in Room B250 in the Leslie Dan Pharmacy Building, 144 College St., Toronto. The event is free and open to the general public.

Damon Ramsey, a general surgery resident and co-chair of CJPME's Right to Health Taskforce, states: “To turn our backs on the devastating health effects of the Israeli occupation on innocent civilians would be a grave mistake. It is our responsibility as health care professionals and citizens alike to be informed of and act on the right to health.”

About CJPME – Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is a non-profit and secular organization bringing together men and women of all backgrounds who labour to see justice and peace take root again in the Middle East. Its mission is to empower decision-makers to view all sides with fairness and to promote the equitable and sustainable development of the region.

For more information, please contact Grace Batchoun, 514-745-8491.
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East www.cjpme.org

Thursday, March 26, 2009

April 7th: World Health Day 2009

Save Lives: Make Hospitals Safe in Emergencies



Conference date and location: Saturday, March 28, 2009, Innis College, 2 Sussex Avenue, University of Toronto

Toronto, March 26, 2009 – The future health professionals of Canada have noticed an unjustifiable gap in their education - the discussion of Medicare and its merits. Despite being the place where we are trained to be the fair and equitable front line workers and policy makers in the public health care system, the virtues of Medicare rarely enter the classroom.

Students for Medicare, whose mandate is to strongly advocate for our public health care system, has come together to host a stimulating day-long conference. Experts on Medicare will educate the future generation about the value of our public system and will refute common arguments placed against it with solid evidence. There will also be discussion about problems with the system and solutions that can arise from within the public system without turning to privatization.

Distinguished speakers include Dr. Pat Armstrong, CIHR Chair in Health Service and Nursing Research at York University, Natalie Mehra, Director of the Ontario Health Coalition, Dr. Jeffrey Turnbull, president-elect of the Canadian Medical Association, Doris Grinspun, Executive Director of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, Dr. Gordon Guyatt, Founding Member of the Medical Reform Group, and Dr. Danielle Martin, Founder and Chair of Canadian Doctors for Medicare. The conference has gained unprecedented attention with over 200 registrants and many more on a waiting list.

The conference, being held in collaboration with the Ontario Health Coalition, Medical Reform Group, Canadian Doctors for Medicare and other organizations is being held in memorium to honour the life and work of Dr. Mimi Divinsky, a passionate advocate for the defense of a publicly funded health care system. Mimi understood the vital fight for medicare, saying in 1992: “Once again we face what we have fought so hard to prevent – a two-tiered medical care system in which the wealthy have continued access and those who cannot afford to pay are denied,” a message which is as relevant in 2009 as it was during her life.

The target audience includes both health professional students with limited prior knowledge on the issue, as well as those who are informed but lacking in information regarding tangible ways to get involved. Conference goals are education, skill building, networking and action.

Students for Medicare began as group of nursing students at Ryerson University in association with the Ontario Health Coalition, and has quickly grown to include medical students and residents, social work students, health policy students and many more. Their mission is to reach students as well as the public to educate about and strongly advocate for Medicare. As the future doctors, nurses and health policy makers of the country, they strongly believe that the solutions for health care lie within the public system originally envisioned by Tommy Douglas and his eventual plan for a second stage of Medicare. They also have a strong commitment to equity and highlighting the importance of the social determinants in health outcomes.

Students for Medicare is a group of Canadian health care students who have joined on a mission to educate about and advocate for Medicare.

Contact: studentsformedicare@gmail.com, or Dr. Ritika Goel, 416 890 7489 for more information.

April 1st: Pragmatic Solidarity with those Dying for Drugs

What to do:
April 1st, 2009 is traditionally April Fool’s Day. This year, we are exposing the government’s foolish delay in delivering life-saving drugs to people in developing countries who desperately need them.

Almost five years ago, Parliament responded to the urgent need for medicines in many developing countries by creating “Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime” (CAMR), with the goal of getting affordable medicines to people in the developing world. Unfortunately, that laudable initiative was, and is, seriously flawed.

But now there is a chance to fix it!

On April 1st join the National Day of Action Activity in your city and demand that Canadian parliamentarians act now to streamline the law!

Date: April 1st, 2009
Time: 12:00 p.m.-2:00p.m.

Halifax- Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building, Dalhousie University Campus.

Montreal- Milton St. and University St. McGill University

Ottawa- The Hill.
Contact Kimberly Bowman for further details kimberly.bowman@gmail.com

Toronto- College Street and University Avenue (North-West Corner).

Winnipeg- University of Winnipeg

Vancouver- Vancouver Public Library, 350 West Georgia Street.

Please contact Eowynne Feeney at the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network at efeeney(at)aidslaw.ca for more information about the campaign.

What's happening:
The Canadian government has the ability to save lives and get essential medicines to ailing patients in developing countries. Right now, we could help thousands of people in developing countries survive — especially children.


•2.3 million children under the age of 15 are infected with HIV.
•One in two children with HIV in the developing world dies before reaching his or her second birthday.
•Less than 15% of the 780,000 children who need treatment are on the necessary medicines.
•More than half a million children die of AIDS every year, “simply because the world imposes such an obscene division between rich and poor,” says Stephen Lewis, the former UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa.
Every day matters. The timing is crucial.


•Amendments to the legislation are being prepared right now.
•Canada’s largest generic drug company, Apotex, has promised to make a lower-cost children’s version of a key AIDS drug for export – IF Canada’s law is streamlined.
•Current treatments for children – even where available – are challenging. For instance, kids struggle to take bad-tasting syrups, which are hard to store and refrigerate, need to be taken frequently and are difficult for the caregiver to transport the required large quantities from hospitals to homes.

If Parliament fixed Canada’s access to medicines law, we could help. People can’t afford further delay by the Government of Canada. Each day, thousands of people infected with HIV die – just because they don’t have access to affordable medicines needed to save their lives.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

[Toronto Event] Examining Aspects of Equity in Canada's Health System


The Lupina Foundation & Comparative Program on Health and Society in the
Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto present

"Examining Aspects of Equity in Canada's Health System"

Dr. Sara Allin (CPHS and CHSRF Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Toronto)

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm, Rm 208N Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto 1 Devonshire Place, Toronto, ON

Dr. Sara Allin is a CPHS and CHSRF Post-Doctoral Fellow with the Department of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. She received her PhD and was a Research Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science in the research institute of LSE Health within the Department of Social Policy. She regularly works on comparative projects for national and international organizations on themes related to health care access, public health policies, and health status and inequalities. Her post-doctoral project builds on her PhD thesis, entitled "Equity in the use of health services in the Canadian health system: an
examination of provincial variation, prescription drug insurance and unmet need", to investigate some key health policy questions relevant for Canada.

These include the following: What are the characteristics of different population groups with
self-reported barriers to accessing health care? Are there differences across population subgroups and health regions in the extent to which needed preventive services for chronic conditions are accessed? And what is the impact of unequal health service use in the population and among people with chronic conditions on health outcomes?

If you are planning to attend, please register using the Munk Centre e-registration system by visiting: http://webapp.mcis.utoronto.ca/EventDetails.aspx?eventid=6536

If you have any difficulties registering, please e-mail cphs.munk@utoronto.ca or call 416-946-8891.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Medicare: It's time to Act!


Register now for this exciting and interactive conference on the future of medicare in Canada: http://medicare.eventsbot.com

DATE: March 28th, 9am-4pm
LOCATION: Innis College, 2 Sussex Avenue, University of Toronto
(NW corner of St George Street and Sussex Avenue, south of Bloor)

Join in discussions with:

Dr. Jeffrey Turnbull, Canadian Medical Association, President-Elect
Dr. Pat Armstrong, CIHR Chair, Author "About Canada: Health Care"
Doris Grinspun, Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario, Director
Dr. Gordon Guyatt, Medical Reform Group, Founding Member
Dr. Danielle Martin, Canadian Doctors for Medicare, Chair
Natalie Mehra, Ontario Health Coalition, Leader
and many more ...

This is a chance to learn from the beginning what the issues are in the health care debate, how better to formulate your opinion, and what the evidence is. Join with other students and health care providers in learning how to protect and improve our system. For more information, to volunteer, or to stay updated about this exciting event, please email: medicareconference@gmail.com

FREE of charge! FREE lunch!

Presented by Students for Medicare, an interdisciplinary coalition for equitable public health care in Canada.

"Courage my friends; 'tis not too late to build a better world."
-Tommy Douglas