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The Kids Will Be Alright 

Ontario Premier Doug Ford makes a significant funding announcement for children’s health, and talks of a federal cabinet shuffle intensify.

On that, and more, here is your Syntax Weekly Health Round-Up.

On the Hill

  • The House of Commons and the Senate are now adjourned for the summer. The House is scheduled to return on Monday, September 18, while the Senate is scheduled to return on Tuesday, September 19. 

Around Cabinet 

  • The rumour mill has been buzzing in Ottawa for some time, but this week brought new life to the idea of a potentially significant cabinet shuffle being planned in Ottawa. The Toronto Star and other outlets cite senior Liberal sources who confirm that plans are being made to strengthen the government’s communications abilities on critical and pesky files, including housing and public safety. With Ministers Freeland, Champagne, Joly, and Anand all unlikely to be moving, other trusted Ministers and strong communicators such as Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos could be moved to reverse the Liberals’ downward trend in recent polls. Ministers will meet in Charlottetown later this summer for the pre-session cabinet retreat, from August 21-23.

Around the Dominion

  • The Government of Quebec announced that it will increase medical school admissions by 404 over the next three years, to reach a cumulative 660 more students over four years in 2026-2027. A reassessment will be initiated in the next year in order to increase the number of planned admissions in 2024-2025 and 2025-2026 to respond more quickly to the shortage of doctors.
  • Ontario Premier Doug Ford was joined by CHEO CEO Alex Munter and other important child health stakeholders to announce that the province is investing an additional $330 million each year in pediatric health services to connect children and youth to more convenient and high-quality care close to home at hospitals, clinics, and community-based healthcare facilities across Ontario. Over 100 high-priority initiatives will be quickly implemented to ensure children and youth can connect to emergency care, surgeries, ambulatory services, diagnostic imaging, and mental health services. For the current fiscal year, funding is prorated to $240 million.
  • The Manitoba government announced the launch of the Manitoba Diabetes Action Plan (MDAP), a five-year, whole-of-government strategy to improve prevention, detection, management, and surveillance programming for type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. The MDAP is organized into four pillars of action: prevention, detection, management, and surveillance. Each pillar identifies several priority actions that will guide program delivery and policy development throughout the healthcare system.
  • Alberta Premier Danielle Smith issued the mandate letter for Alberta Health Minister Adriana LaGrange. Framed around creating an environment welcoming of innovation and incentives to ensure the best patient care, key tasks for LaGrange include: investing $6 million to add five more conditions to the Alberta Newborn Screening Program; a one-time $10-million investment to support women-focused research, advocacy, and care; resolving lab services delays; identifying strategies to attract and retain healthcare workers to rural Alberta; addressing health workforce and planning challenges; and developing streamlined automated credentialing for front-line health care workers, doctors, nurses, and paramedics.
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