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Health Canada Calls for Proposals Under the Substance Use and Addictions Program

Greg Fergus and Wab Kinew make history and Health Canada issues a call for proposals for its Substance Use and Addictions Program. On that, and more, here is your Syntax Weekly Health Round-Up.

On the Hill

  • The House of Commons returned to some civility following Speaker Anthony Rota’s resignation in the wake of the unfortunate recognition of Yaroslav Hunka in the House two weeks ago. Liberal MP Greg Fergus was elected by his parliamentary colleagues to take over the role of Speaker, making history as the first person of colour to ascend to the position at the federal level in Canada. Parliament will now proceed to its post-Thanksgiving break week. MPs will return to the House of Commons on Monday, October 16.
  • At Committee, MPs on the Standing Committee on Health undertook consideration of a draft report on its study of Oversight of Medical Devices (Breast Implants).
  • Next week, federal, provincial, and territorial health ministers will meet in Charlottetown, where they are anticipated to discuss issues related to health workforce challenges and health labour mobility.

Around Government 

  • In recognition of the unrelenting and toxic drug and overdose crisis, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Ya’ara Saks announced the launch of the 2023 national call for proposals for Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addictions Program (SUAP). The deadline to submit applications is November 22, 2023. Since 2017, over $500 million has been committed through Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addiction Program for more than 380 community-led projects aiming to minimize substance use harms and improve health outcomes for Canadians. Through the 2023 CFP, Health Canada will provide support for community-led projects designed to: support and enhance the role of people with lived and living experience in prevention, treatment, and harm reduction; broaden services and programs that target post-treatment aftercare and transition; address alcohol use disorder; and address adult tobacco cessation.
  • In recognition of Human Papillomavirus Prevention Week, Minister of Health Mark Holland and Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Ya’ara Saks released a statement calling for the continued uptake of vaccinations as one of the most effective ways to prevent transmission and eliminate HPV in Canada. The Ministers also noted the importance of early detection as a means to prevent HPV-related cancers. Tests to detect HPV in its early stages are becoming more common in Canada but must become more available to Canadians, no matter where they live.
  • In recognition of Mental Illness Awareness Week, Minister Saks released a statement promoting this year’s theme, “Awareness, Access and Parity for Mental Health and Substance Use Care in Canada,” and saying the government’s compassionate approach puts people first and focuses on providing a continuum of care that includes a range of support services and resources that can help address mental health challenges and substance use.
  • In recognition of Autism Awareness Month, Minister Holland released an update on the work that the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) continues to undertake toward the development of a Framework for Autism in Canada. It will outline broad overarching principles and best practices to guide national autism activities to support autistic people living in Canada, their families, and caregivers. Minister Holland noted that PHAC is also working towards launching an autism strategy for Canada, which will address the needs of autistic people through federal initiatives that allow them to live, work, and play to their fullest ability.

Around the Dominion

  • Manitobans went to the polls on Tuesday, October 3, electing the NDP to a majority government. Incoming Premier Wab Kinew, the first First Nation premier of a Canadian province, will now set about naming his cabinet and drafting mandate letters for his ministers.
  • The Government of PEI announced that Island residents covered under public drug programs on PEI may be eligible to receive up to a 90-day supply of most oral medications. Until recently, certain oral medications included in the PEI Pharmacare Formulary were only able to be prescribed for 30 days at a time. Under the policy change, physicians, nurse practitioners, and community pharmacists can change the number of days supplied on prescriptions when deemed appropriate. The government also announced the successful integration of Canada Health Infoway’s PrescribeIT in Prince Edward Island’s Electronic Medical Record program.
  • The Government of New Brunswick announced that it is adding conjunctivitis (pink eye) to the list of common ailments that pharmacists are publicly funded to treat. So far this year, the government has expanded the scope of practice for pharmacists so they can now treat the following conditions: contact allergic dermatitis, cold sores, mild to moderate eczema, gastroesophageal reflux disease, impetigo, Lyme disease prevention after a high-risk tick bite, and mild acne.
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