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Pharmacare Bill Off to Standing Committee on Health

Pharmacare legislation referred to Standing Committee on Health and B.C. moves to prohibit the possession of controlled substances in public spaces under its CDSA exemption. On that, and more, here is your Syntax Weekly Health Round-Up.

On the Hill

Around Government 

  • The Mental Health Minister announced that the federal government has accepted B.C.’s request to amend its exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) related to personal possession of certain controlled substances in the province. As of May 7, B.C. is enabled to prohibit the possession of controlled substances in public spaces under its CDSA exemption. The exemption will continue to apply in private residences, healthcare clinics as designated by the province of B.C., places where people are lawfully sheltering, and overdose prevention and drug-checking sites.

Around the Dominion

  • The Government of  P.E.I. released a new policy directive to give paramedics more ways to help Islanders access safe, high-quality care. The new protocols will allow paramedics to determine whether people should receive care in the community or at the emergency department (ED). Previously, paramedics were required to take all patients to the ED.
  • The Government of New Brunswick released its new Primary Health Care Action Plan to address systemic challenges, including those related to healthcare practice structures and funding, primary healthcare administration, and governance and accountability. The foundation of the plan is in advancing team-based practices under the Family Medicine New Brunswick Model, which was first introduced in 2017. New Brunswick also announced this week it was adding a new tool to its digital health platforms to allow residents to view the estimated wait times for various non-urgent medical imaging tests. The dashboard will reflect the typical maximum wait times for services including CT scans, MRIs, bone density scans, ultrasounds, and mammograms.
  • In Ontario, the government announced an investment of $12.5 million to expand pediatric mental health services for Black and 2SLGBTQIA+ youth. This investment will help to expand and improve community programs and services delivered by more than 25 organizations. The province also announced an investment of $2.5 million to launch a new mobile crisis response team in Lambton County to make it easier and more convenient for people experiencing homelessness or mental health and addictions crises to get the support they need.
  • In BC, the government announced it was investing up to $155.7 million to expand retainment and recruitment efforts to allied health and clinical support staff. This includes signing bonuses for staff to fill high-needs vacancies, expansion of the Provincial Rural Retention Incentive for healthcare workers, and tuition credits.
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