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The following is a review of developments affecting health care in Canada

The information is updated the first week of every month - so ... make this a regular stop in your information gathering activities.

The following information has been compiled from publicly available sources, StratCom does not assume any responsibility for the accuracy or the authenticity of the information and StratCom cannot be held liable for errors.

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Healthcare in Canada - March 1999

Canadian Health Minister Allan Rock is advising all Canadian healthcare establishments to begin a phase out of PVC plastic (vinyl) blood bags, intravenous (IV) bags and tubing. The risks posed by soft PVC medical products used for intravenous therapy have been documented in a letter addressed to the minister, by the National Federation of Nurses' Unions, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, the Canadian Institute of Child Health, the Ontario Public Health Association, Health Care without Harm and Greenpeace. PVC-based bags use DEHP as a softener. DEHP is classified as toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and is anticipated to be a human carcinogen. According to Health Canada, DEHP is over six times more toxic than DINP, another phthalate softener contained in PVC infant toys which Health Canada advised parents to discard November 1998.

Researchers at the Home Care Evaluation and Research Centre (HCERC), established by the University of Toronto, will study the viability and effectiveness of home care services in Canada. Health Canada estimates that government spending on home care has increased from $62.3 million in 1975 to more than $2.1 billion in 1999. A joint initiative of the Faculty of Nursing and the Faculty of Medicine's department of health administration, HCERC will examine utilization, funding, human resources, technology diffusion, home environment, cost, quality of care and policy design. More than $1 million has been committed to the project by a group of for-profit and non-profit corporate partners -- Baxter Corporation, Caremark Ltd., The Change Foundation, Comcare Health Services, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, St. Elizabeth Health Care, the Victorian Order of Nurses of Canada and We Care Health Services Inc.

Canada is establishing a federal office to evaluate and regulate herbal medicines and other alternative health products. The government will allocate $6.6 million over three years to establish the office, and conduct research. Currently, herbal medicines in Canada are either classified as foods, in which case no health claims can be made, or as drugs, which means they must go through the same costly trials required for pharmaceutical products. A parliamentary report recommended that herbal medicines be treated as a new category, distinct from either foods or drugs.

The Canadian Breast Cancer Research Initiative has received $7.9 million in funding for 26 breast cancer research projects over the next three years. The funds for this research are provided by a partnership among Breast Cancer International Centre/Avon, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Canadian Breast Cancer Network, Canadian Cancer Society, Health Canada, Medical Research Council of Canada and the National Cancer Institute of Canada.

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* Healthcare in Canada - Febuary 1999
* Healthcare in Canada - January 1999
* Healthcare in Canada - December 1998
* Healthcare in Canada - November 1998
* Healthcare in Canada - October 1998
* Healthcare in Canada - September 1998
* Healthcare in Canada - August 1998
* Healthcare in Canada - July 1998
* Healthcare in Canada - June 1998
* Healthcare in Canada - May 1998
* Healthcare in Canada - April 1998
* Healthcare in Canada - March 1998
* Healthcare in Canada - February 1998
* Healthcare in Canada - January 1998
* Healthcare in Canada - July 1997
* Healthcare in Canada - June 1997
* Healthcare in Canada - May 1997
* Healthcare in Canada - April 1997
* Healthcare in Canada - March 1997
* Healthcare in Canada - February 1997
* Healthcare in Canada - January 1997
* Healthcare in Canada - December 1996
* Healthcare in Canada - November 1996
* Healthcare in Canada - October 1996
* Healthcare in Canada - September 1996
* Healthcare in Canada - August 1996
* Healthcare in Canada - July 1996
* Healthcare in Canada - June 1996

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Last modified: April 5, 1999