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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 - May 1999

HEMA-QUEBEC and the Canadian Blood Services are developing a protocol for the screening of blood donors who have visited the United Kingdom and France since 1980, to avoid the possibility of contaminating the blood supply with a new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. This is part of the risk management recommendations made by the Krever Report. Although there is no scientific and epidemiological evidence that the new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is transmitted by blood, approximately forty cases of the disease have been reported in Great Britain and one in France. The new variant (nvCJD), generally described as a prion disease (infectious protein), is a degenerative brain disorder and is always fatal. Discovered in 1996, nvCJD is said to have been caused by human exposure to mad cow disease or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

Manitoba finance minister Harold Gilleshammer has announced a 10% funding increase for Manitoba's Health Care Plan allowing the Manitoba Government to invest an additional $194 million in its health care plan and a total health care budget of $2.1 billion. Hospitals will get $62 million, or eight per cent more, to further expand surgical capacity to further reduce waiting lists for much needed procedures. An additional $5 million will be used to purchase medical equipment such as CT scanners to continue to reduce waiting lists for diagnostic services. This is over and above the government's ongoing funding commitment of $22.5 million for new basic and specialized equipment. The Manitoba Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation will get $1.3 million more to increase the number of radiotherapy treatments by 30 per cent. An additional $55.5 million will go to medical services provided by doctors. Support of $2.8 million will go toward establishing primary health centers, where health care providers such as nurses, physicians and physiotherapists all deliver services at one location. The first site, at the St. Boniface General Hospital, will offer primary health care services in both English and French. Home care will get $20.5 million more to expand programming. The 16 per cent increase will bring the home care budget to $147 million. There will be $15 million more for personal care home services, bringing the total commitment to long-term care to over $300 million.

The 1999 Ontario budget provides a 20% increase to overall spending on health care over five years. However, hospitals are still uncertain about how they can maintain patient care services and implement the restructuring directed by the Health Services Restructuring Commission when capital funding has been delayed and total operating funding for hospitals is about the same as last year.

Saskatchewan Health Minister Pat Atkinson has announced that the Twin Rivers Health District has received approval in principle for a new health facility in Turtleford. The proposed new facility will replace the existing Riverside Memorial Hospital and Turtle River nursing home. It will combine all local health services, including acute and long-term care, in one location, ensuring residents can easily get all the health services they need. The new facility will offer a wide range of health services including acute and emergency services, long-term care, respite care, x-ray and lab services, and a multitude of community-based services.

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* Healthcare in Canada - April 1999
* Healthcare in Canada - March 1999
* 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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