July 2014

Health & Safety

Health Canada to release side-effect data after Star probe

Health Canada will make public information it has kept secret regarding serious, sometimes fatal side-effects suspected to have been caused by unapproved “off-label” prescriptions.

The announcement by the minister of health comes after an ongoing Star investigation exposed the federal regulator was scrubbing crucial information from public view.

CCOHS and Vubiz mark 10 year partnership providing accessible safety training to Canadians

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) and Vubiz, an e-learning solutions company, recently celebrated a ten year milestone of collaboration, providing credible and accessible online health and safety training to working Canadians.

"Ten years ago, CCOHS and Vubiz formed a strategic partnership to provide courses to help equip Canadian workers to be safe at work, and to help employers and businesses meet their health and safety responsibilities," said Steve Horvath, President and Chief Executive Officer at CCOHS. "With the help of Vubiz, CCOHS has been able to offer training in a convenient, easy-to-access e-learning format."

Canada lags on pediatric drug safety

The development of new therapies has provided our health care system with enormous advances, such as insulin for diabetes, antibiotics for infections and chemotherapy for many cancers. Yet these therapies may also cause potential harm, even death, so the benefits have to be carefully weighed against the risks.

But how do you strike a balance when treating children with drugs in the absence of such evidence? Most people might be surprised to learn that many of the medications given to children in Canada have never been adequately studied or even formally approved for the conditions they are commonly prescribed to treat.

Tories’ health care cuts for refugees ‘Cruel and Unusual’: Federal Court

The Conservative government has another legal battle on its hands after the Federal Court ruled against controversial reductions to health-care coverage for refugee claimants.

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander says the government will appeal Friday's decision by Justice Anne Mactavish, which denounced the cuts as "cruel and unusual" treatment — particularly to the children of claimants who have sought refuge in Canada.

Summer food safety

Summer is here, and more people are cooking outside to take advantage of the sunshine and the warm temperatures.

But the hot, humid weather, coupled with more difficult access to refrigeration or washing facilities, creates the perfect conditions for the rapid growth of bacteria on food.

Every year in Canada, roughly one in eight Canadians (or four million people) get sick with food poisoning, also known as foodborne illness. Many cases of foodborne illness can be prevented by following proper food handling and preparation techniques. While most people recover completely from foodborne illness, certain groups have a higher risk for serious health effects. These groups include pregnant women, children ages 5 and under, adults 60 years old and over, and people with weakened immune systems.

Human Resources

The Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation: Learning to abide by the CASL rules

We live in a digital era where electronic communication seemingly surpasses that of face-to-face, and to some, their email inbox is a sacred collection of important reminders, news, family conversations, sales, special events, interesting articles, educational materials and more.

This article discusses some common questions around CASL including the consequences of violation. All companies must ensure they are compliant since the July 1st deadline passed.

Ontario Human Rights Commission releases new policy on mental health disabilities and addictions

On April 16th, we reported on a new policy published by the Ontario Human Rights Commission (the Commission) entitled Policy on Preventing Discrimination Because of Gender Identity and Gender Expression. Last week, the Commission published a new policy entitled the Policy on preventing discrimination based on mental health disabilities and addictions.   

This new policy was created out of recognition that persons with mental health and disabilities “have faced considerable and longstanding discrimination, stigmatization and social exclusion in Canada and across the world”.   For Ontario employers, this is an important policy as the Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code), under the protected ground of “disability”, prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of mental health disabilities and addictions.

Working in Canada

The graduate labour market is very competitive, so it can be difficult to get a job in Canada. One of your best chances of finding work is to look for jobs in the Canadian shortage occupations list which would allow you to enter Canada as a federal skilled worker. However you would need proven skills and experience in the job role in question to qualify for this.

Some professions are regulated in Canada, which may mean you'll have to get your academic or professional qualifications accredited to be able to work in that role in the country.

Failing to investigate allegations of discrimination results in costly human rights award

The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) heard an Application made pursuant to section 34 of the Human Rights Code (the “Code”) alleging discrimination and harassment with respect to employment because of colour and reprisal. This decision will be of interest to all employers, as it illuminates the scope of the obligation to take reasonable steps to address allegations of harassment and discrimination in the workplace – including, as a first step, undertaking an investigation of the allegations made. The employee in Morgan (the “Applicant”) was terminated for, inter alia, allegedly leaking confidential information. 

Eye specialists say they’re out of work

Did you know that a substantial number of eye surgeons are unable to find work in their chosen field, despite the many patients who need their services?

The wait lists for eye surgery – along with all the problems that result from poor vision like increased incidences of hip fractures, depression, and early nursing home admissions – are a serious concern, say observers in this field, adding that it must be solved with adequate funding, otherwise the eye health of the Baby Boom population will be out of luck.

Poverty a major barrier to good health for urban aboriginals: study

Hamilton’s urban aboriginal people face multiple barriers to health care, significant rates of chronic disease and elevated emergency room visit levels compared to the rest of the city, according to a landmark study from St. Michael’s Hospital.

The study, published Thursday in medical journal BMJ Open, marks the first time researchers have accessed detailed information about how an urban aboriginal population in Canada uses health care. 


Wireless radiation exposure code ‘fails to protect Canadians’

Health Canada’s proposed update to its safety code for wireless radiation exposure ignores current research and “fails to protect Canadians from their own cellphones,” say experts.

A group of Canadian physicians has written to Health Canada about Safety Code 6, the microwave radiation safety guidelines policy. The federal government has invited public comment on its proposed changes, and the doctors, along with a non-profit group called Canadians for Safe Technology (C4ST), say they fail to factor in dozens of studies that demonstrate the harmful effects of exposure to everyday technology: cellphones, baby monitors, and even cars and refrigerators.

Fraser Health Authority hospitals among ‘worst in Canada’

Several Fraser Health Authority hospitals have some of the worst results in Canada on various measures of patient safety and quality of care, according to a report prepared for the ministry of health and released Wednesday.

The most recent Canadian Hospital Reporting Project shows that Burnaby Hospital was the worst in Canada from 2010 to 2012 in a category called “nursing-sensitive adverse events.” The category is a patient safety and quality of care indicator because complications typically stem from hospital care or lack thereof, as opposed to a patient’s illness. The report studied the rate per 1,000 patients of such conditions as urinary tract infections, pressure ulcers, in-hospital falls leading to fractures and pneumonia.

Why health officials say the Ebola epidemic won’t spread into Canada

“We’ve noticed the people who go into your hospital don’t come out so we don’t want our family members to go in there,” he was told.

While on “ground zero” of the Ebola epidemic in Guinea with Doctors Without Borders, Canadian doctor Tim Jagatic is facing that sentiment from locals in West Africa.

Saskatchewan implements flu shot or surgical mask policy for health-care workers

Health-care workers in Saskatchewan will face an ultimatum this upcoming flu season — get a flu shot or wear a surgical mask while caring for patients.

Dr. David Torr, chairman of the Medical Health Officers' Council of Saskatchewan, said patient safety is the top priority.

"We've been advocating for vaccine for over 30 years and what we're advocating now is immunize or mask," Torr said Wednesday in Regina.

Health care costs typical Canadian family over $11,000 a year, report says

The Price of Public Health Care Insurance, says health care in Canada isn't free.  "While Canadians may not pay directly for medical services, they pay a substantial amount of money for health care through taxes,” said Bacchus Barua, study co-author and senior economist in the Fraser Institute's Centre for Health Policy Studies.

Using data from Statistics Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), the study estimates the amount of taxes Canadian families will pay for public health insurance in 2014, and by how much it has increased over the last decade.

Product Recall’s and Advisories

Moore Hip Long Fenestrated Stem (2014-07-03)

Insight and Ultra-Speed (2014-07-02)

Ultrasound Gastroscopes (2014-06-28)

ReClaim Distal Tapered Stem and ReClaim Taper Sleeve Protector (2014-06-27)

Advanced Perfusion System 1, Base Unit (2014-06-27)

IMUBIND Adamts13 ELISA and Auto Ab ELISA (2014-06-26)

Plum A+ Volumetric Infusion Pumps and Plum A+3 Infusion Pumps (2014-06-26)

ITC Hemochron JR APTT Test Cuvette (2014-06-24)

Various Biograph mCT-S Devices (2014-06-23)

Disposable Strykeflow Tip (2014-06-23)

Recall of unauthorized health product: "Cellfood"

IVF Pasteur Pipet (2014-06-23)

Affinity Four Birthing Beds P3700B (2014-06-20)

Nexdrive Micropositioning Drive Models ML-1000 and ML-2000 (2014-06-19)

Gemini TF16 PET/CT System - Main Unit (2014-06-18)

Biotestcell -I 8 and I 11 (2014-06-17)

Mobilediagnost WDR (2014-06-17)

Behring Nephelometer System - N Latex IGE (2014-06-16)

Intelepacs - Main Unit (2014-06-13)

Brightview XCT Imaging System - Tilt System (2014-06-13)

Da Vinci S Surgical System- Endoscopic Instrumentation, Pott Scissors, Large HEM-O-LOK clip applier and Large HEM-O-LOK clip applier (2014-06-13)

Coat-a-Count Direct Androsrenedione Kit (2014-06-12)

Zofran (ondansetron) - Dosage and Administration of Intravenous Ondansetron in Geriatrics (>65 years of age) - For Health Professionals

Proteus XR/A General Purpose Radiographic System and Revolution XR/D Digital Radiographic System (2014-06-12)

840 Ventilator System - Main Unit (2014-06-12)

Artiste MV System - Digital Linear Accelerator (2014-06-12)

Artis Zeego and Artis Zee  Multi-purpose, Floor, Celing and Biplane (2014-06-12)

Stellant with Certegra Workstation - Stellant CT (2014-06-12)

Axiom Artis DTA,Artis Zeego and Artis Zee- Multi-purpose, Floor, Celing and Biplane (2014-06-11)

Medtronic Duet External Drainage and Monitoring System, SmartSite Injection Sites and Interlink Injection Sites (2014-06-10)

Various Teosyal Products (2014-06-09)

Health Canada Suspends Licence of "CanadaDrugs.com LP"

Salmonella Agglutinating Serum HZ15 (2014-06-09)

TERAZOL 7 Vaginal Cream 0.4% (terconazole); TERAZOL 3 Dual-Pak - Vaginal Cream 0.8%/Vaginal Ovules 80 mg (terconazole) - Risk of Anaphylaxis and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis - For Health Professionals

M/L Taper Reduced Neck Stems, M/L Taper Reduced Neck Extended Offset,M/L Taper with Kinectiv Stems,M/L Taper Standard Stems and M/L Taper Extended Offset Stems (2014-06-06)

Qube Compact Monitor (2014-06-06)