April 2014

Health and Safety

Ontario's Mandatory Occupational Health And Safety Awareness Training – Be Prepared For July 1, 2014

Ontario's Ministry of Labour ("MOL") will be tasked with enforcing occupational health and safety awareness training which is mandatory for all workers and supervisors in the province beginning July 1, 2014. The requirements are established in Ontario Regulation 297/13, Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training, a new regulation pursuant to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (the "OHSA").

The mandatory training, which contains a number of detailed elements, was one of the key recommendations made by an Expert Advisory Panel established following a scaffolding collapse at a high-rise construction site, which resulted in the deaths of four workers.

Health Canada committed to transparency

Nowhere is confidence and transparency more important than in the decisions made that affect the health and safety of Canadians — and Health Canada is delivering.

The launch of the Regulatory Transparency and Openness Framework demonstrates Health Canada's commitment to transparency. It makes Canada a world leader in the posting of practical drug safety review summaries, ahead of both the U.S. and the EU.

Greenleaf Medicinals recall puts spotlight on commercial majijuana’s growing pains

Greenleaf Medicinals was suddenly missing from the list of government-approved licensed producers Tuesday, days after the company voluntarily recalled a batch of its Purple Kush marijuana.

It was the first recall under the new program, which launched April 1. Health Canada said in a brief statement that the recall was due to the “company’s production practices, which were identified during a Health Canada inspection.”

Journalists launch their own guide to mental health reporting

Canadian journalists have created a new guide to mental health reporting - the first to come from within the news industry itself.  It promotes more factual coverage; fairer, less stigmatizing treatment of the 20% of Canadians experiencing mental illness; and the airing of systemic issues in mental health care across the country.

The new resource, available in English or French, comprises a pair of 'field guides' for quick reference and two associated websites for elaboration and discussion.  The guides will be made available without charge to journalists, news organizations and journalism schools across the country.

Canada strengthens ties with China on Health and Energy priorities

The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, Regional Minister for Northern Alberta and Member of Parliament for Edmonton-Spruce Grove, is wrapping up a week of meetings in China focussed on exchanging information, sharing best practices and strengthening collaborative actions on shared health priorities.  While in China, the Minister has highlighted the importance of supporting innovation and building strong health partnerships between academia and health institutions to address the increasingly complex health issues that impact Canadian and Chinese citizens. The Honourable Fred Horne, Minister of Health for Alberta, and co-chair of the Council of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Health, accompanied the Minister to provide a provincial perspective to discussions.

Human Resources

I hired my sister but now I want to fire her. What do I do?

The answer: One of my first rules of business is to never hire family. I’ve seen it work well, don’t get me wrong, but when it doesn’t, it is often bad, bad, bad. Starting a small business is risky enough, why would you drag family members into your complicated world? You need them for moral support, not easy access to labour. Businesses may come and go but your family is forever. Keep them separate if you can.

Canada’s jobless rate drops below 7%, matching post-recession low

Canada’s economy showed signs of thawing out from a long, bitter winter last month, churning out an unexpectedly high 42,900 net new jobs that helped shave the unemployment rate to 6.9 per cent—matching a post-recession low.

The Canadian jobs gain, although mostly part-time, was about double what economists had anticipated and more than wipes out February’s 7,000 dip.

At 6.9 per cent, the Canadian jobless rate matches the lowest point it’s been since the 2008-09 recession.

Most Canadians see their work as “ just a job”

If you are among the majority of Canadians, you see your work as just a job as opposed to part of a full vocation. A CareerBuilder.ca survey released April 23 found that 58% of workers in Canada think of their employment as simply a way to earn a living.

One of the main reasons for this is being dissatisfied with the work being done. The number one reason for this dissatisfaction, the survey found, is that employees don’t feel valued, with 61% of respondents saying they feel like “just a number.”

Changes to the Canada Labour Code

Federally regulated employers should be aware of changes to the Canada Labour Code ("the Code") effective April 1, 2014, namely subsections 219 and 223-231 of the Jobs and Growth Act, 2012, chapter 31 of the Statutes of Canada (also referred to as Bill C-45). The changes are briefly reviewed in the following article based around 3 main area’s: New Complaint, Payment Orders, and Vacation Pay Time Lines.

Toronto company making mobile classroom learning EZLive

Mobile classrooms are now the reality in the digital world, there is no doubt about that. Leading the way with this new technology is ScholarLab, based in Toronto, Canada and Atlanta, Georgia.

This article highlights how the Ontario Dental Hygienists Association in Burlington, ON has made effective use of this new resource to build their training and allow access for all employees anywhere they go.


Canadians spending more out of pocket on health care

Canadians' out-of-pocket spending for prescription drugs, dental care and insurance premiums rose over a 12-year period for all families, especially people with lower incomes who may have reduced their use of health-care services, a new report suggests.

Statistics Canada's report, "Trends in out-of-pocket health care expenditures in Canada, by household income, 1997 to 2009," released Wednesday shows the increase in these expenses was greatest for households in the lowest one-fifth of income.

Comment: Don’t weep over end of Canada health accord

The 2004 federal-provincial health accord recently completed its 10-year run and expired on schedule. It was heralded at the time of its signing as a landmark agreement that would solve many of the wait-time issues plaguing Canada’s health-care system. In retrospect it achieved little and was expensive to boot.

And yet, some misguided news commentators, ex-premiers and celebrities lamented its demise. These voices were reinforced by a series of nationwide protests (organized by groups such as the Canadian Health Coalition) that were designed to scare Canadians into thinking that the expiration of the 2004 health accord will lead to a collapse of the health-care system.

Private health insurance in Canada deemed inefficient

Private health insurance should be better regulated in Canada, say researchers who found the gap between premiums and payouts in claims reached $6.8 billion in 2011.

About 60 per cent of Canadians are covered by private health insurance for health-care services such as prescription drugs, health-care economists say. Most are insured through their employers, with for-profit firms dominating the industry, said study author Michael Law of the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

Why spending on new medicines is more sustainable than other healthcare costs

Last fall, CLHIA’s president commented in the National Post that, “high drug costs are eating away at our health system” and that “the increasing number of very expensive drugs that treat relatively rare diseases threatens the financial sustainability of the entire system.” Since then, the industry has actively called for increased government intervention and regulation of the Canadian pharmaceutical industry.

Political offers pour in for Toronto doctor who defended Canada’s medicare

Political offers have been pouring in for a doctor who enthusiastically defended the reputation of Canada's medicare system during some tense exchanges in the U.S. Congress.

Dr. Danielle Martin said she's been courted by political parties at the municipal, provincial and federal level since her appearance last month enjoyed a moment of viral celebrity.

Nurse practitioners offer good value in health care, study says

A study funded by the Ministry of Health outlines the benefits of having nurse practitioners in hospitals and long-term care homes.

University of Western Ontario professor and researcher Tina Hurlock-Chorostecki said nurse practitioners are often the one constant for a patient in hospital. They can act as liaisons with other health professionals to ease a patient's stay, and possibly shorten it.


Product Recall’s and Advisories

New lots recalled: Fresenius Medical Care continues recall of Sodium Bicarbonate Liquid Concentrate

Recall of Marijuana for Medical Purposes - Greenleaf Medicinals

Clinimix - 5% TRAVASOL Amino Acid Injection WITH Electrolytes in 16.6% Dextrose Injection, 1 L - Recall Due to Particulate Matter Found in the Solution - Notice to Hospitals

Neupogen (filgrastim) and Neulasta (pegfilgrastim) - Risk of Capillary Leak Syndrome - For Health Professionals

Fresenius Medical Care expands recall of Sodium Bicarbonate Liquid Concentrate

Amplatzer Septal Occluder - Risk of Erosion - For Health Professionals

ZELBORAF (vemurafenib) - Association with Liver Problems - For Health Professionals

BUSULFEX (busulfan) 6 mg/mL Injection - Potential for Particulate Matter in 10 mL vials - Notice to Hospitals

dom-Pantoprazole (2014-04-04)

Riva-Pantoprazole (2014-04-03)

Trabecular Metal Acetabular Shell (2014-04-02)

EZ-LO 45 mm Needle Set (2014-04-01)

Brilliance CT Systems and Ingenuity CT System (2014-04-01)

REMERON / REMERON RD (mirtazapine) - Abnormal Heart Rhythm - For Health Professionals

Discovery MR750W 3.0T MRI System (2014-03-28)

Advia Centaur, Centaur CP, and Centaur XP Systems - HIV Ag/Ab Combo (Chiv) Assay (Donor Screen Transplant) (2014-03-28)

Oncor Expression Digital Linear Accelerator, Artiste MV-Linear Accelerator, and Oncor Impression IMRT Plus (2014-03-27)

Cobas 8000 - C502 Chemistry Analyzer (2014-03-27)

Foreign Product Alert: Zyrexin

Vitros Chemistry DIluent and Vitros Chemistry FS Specialty Diluent Pack 3 (2014-03-27)

Immage Immunochemistry Systems Apolipoprotein A-1 (APA) and Apolipoprotein Calibrator (Apo Cal) (2014-03-26)

Foreign Product Alerts: Xiang Gang Tian Long Sheng Wu Ke Ji Di Qi Dai Chi Jiu Zhan Shen

Emergency contraceptive pills to carry warnings for reduced effectiveness in women over a certain body weight

Foreign Product Alerts: Majestic Slim Perfect and Yixiu L-Carnitine Slimming Capsules

Ingenuity CT System (2014-03-26)

IMURAN (azathioprine) or PURINETHOL (mercaptopurine) - Association with a Type of Blood Cancer - Hepatosplenic T-Cell Lymphoma - For Health Professionals

Immage Immunochemistry Systems Apolipoprotein A-1 (APA) and Apolipoprotein Calibrator (Apo Cal) (2014-03-26)

Fluconazole Injection SDZ (2014-03-25)

Disposable Biopsy Forceps (2014-03-25)

Immulite and Immulite 2000 Anti-Tg AB Systems and Immulite 1000 System - Thyroid Autoantibody Assay (2014-03-24)

Non Absorbable Surgical Suture Stainless Steel (2014-03-24)

Artis Zeego Multi-Axis (2014-03-21)

Hill Dermaceuticals Inc. Recall (2014-03-20)

Digital Diagnost (2014-03-20)

Penadapt (2014-03-20)

iMRS (2014-03-19)

Paradigm Insulin Pumps and Paradigm Insulin Infusion Pump (2014-03-17)

Steri-Vac Gas Sterillizer/Aerator (2014-03-17)

CT/MR Fletcher Set (2014-03-17)

Dimension Vista System - Cyclosporine Extended Range (CSAE) and Cyclosporine (CSA) Assays (2014-03-14)

D-10 Haemoglobin Testing System - Analyzer (2014-03-14)

Dimension Vista System - Cyclosporine Extended Range (CSAE) and Cyclosporine (CSA) Assays (2014-03-14)

Unicel DXH 600 and Unicel DXH 800 Coulter Cellular Analysis Systems (2014-03-13)

Endo-Scrub2 - Sheath and Tubing Set (2014-03-13)