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Health Care Unravelling in Ontario: Access Worse, Quality Down, User Fees Up, People More Fearful - New Report Says



Health care in Ontario is unravelling, with people finding it harder to access services, the quality of care spiralling downhill and more costs being off-loaded onto patients, says a report released today by the Caledon Institute. The report, "Costs, Closures and Confusion: People in Ontario Talk About Health Care", by Kate Bezanson and Louise Noce with the assistance of the Speaking Out team, was based on in-depth, repeated interviews conducted since January 1997 with households across Ontario.



The report contains analysis of different health policies (funding, hospital restructuring, closures and bed closures, long-term care). It is available at http://www.caledoninst.org/speaking



The Speaking Out project was launched in Spring 1997 to document the impact of tax, spending and policy changes in Ontario. The project is conducting in-depth interviews with 40 households, comprising 124 people, approximately every six months. This is the fourth report. Speaking Out is a project of The Caledon Institute of Social Policy, with funding from The Atkinson Charitable Foundation.



For more information please contact:

Susan McMurray, Project Manager

Caledon Institute of Social Policy, Speaking Out Project

42 Charles St. E., Toronto, Ontario, M4T 1Y4

Tel (416) 928-3362 ext. 4205

Email: [email protected]

Translated Material in Health Care

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This project arose from the work of 22 health organizations in BC. The website (http://www.healthtrans.org ) includes guidelines for translating materials and for assessing translated materials. The website also includes translated materials from participating agencies; brochures in 10 different languages; about 100 brochures on a range of health care topics = materials for health care providers and for consumers.

OPHA: New, updated and improved web site

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OPHA has a new, updated and improved web site and a new calling card. After months of preparation, the new OPHA web site is ready to be explored. It can be found at http://www.opha.on.ca The purpose of updating the web site was not only to update information, but also to make our site more interactive. New features include an on-line feedback form so you can make any comments you like and click on a button to instantly send it to OPHA. The public health 411 feature is designed to be the leading contact point for people in community and public health. If you want to add yourself to the list, do so by following the simple instructions. Another section, public health 401, will list leading web sites with web links around the world. It will be added to regularly, so check it out and let us know what you think!

SOPHE 1999 MidYear Scientific Conference

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-- Call for Abstracts extended until 1/29/99. See Abstract Guidelines at http://www.sophe.org.



Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) Midyear Meeting, June 17-20, 1999, Minneapolis/St. Paul Hilton Hotel, in cooperation with the International Union for Health Promotion and Education, North American Regional Office.



This conference, "New Challenges in Health Promotion: Reaching Beyond our Boundaries," is intended to challenge health educators from Canada, the United States, and the U.S. territories of North America to reach beyond geographic, language, cultural and other boundaries to improve the effectiveness of population and individual-based behavior change. In particular, the conference will focus on five areas related to health promotion evidence, theory, and practice: economics and health care systems access and quality; community interventions; vulnerable populations; evaluation and evidence-based outcomes; and linkages between research and practice.



To receive a copy of the preliminary program, to be available in early April, contact

[email protected].

New Men's Health Resources

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New features and services oriented to men's heath are available at http://www healthfinder.gov , the U.S. government gateway Web site for health information. Healthfinder brings under one umbrella the vast health information resources of the federal government and its many partners. Healthfinder offers a broad range of reliable consumer resources and serves, on average, more than 350,000 consumers each month - more than 5.3 million visitors since it was launched.



The new resources at healthfinder.gov come just in time for (U.S.) National Men's Health Week, June 14-20 (concluding on Father's Day). Healthfinder is managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in collaboration with other HHS agencies.

Report: The Quality of Life in Ontario- Spring 1999

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See the full report at: http://www.qli-ont.org



The Quality of Life in Ontario marred by Social Deficit



The Quality of Life in Ontario has recovered almost to the level of 1990. But there is a growing "social deficit." This deficit reflects the failure of society to care for its vulnerable populations. It refers not only to the immediate consequences of unmet basic needs, such as hunger and homelessness, but also the long term damage it inflicts, especially on the life chances of children. This is the trend revealed by the Quality of Life Index in the Spring of 1999.



This report is the fourth in the series on The Quality of Life in Ontario, which is published by the Ontario Social Development Council (OSDC) and the Social Planning Network of Ontario (SPNO). We are using the Quality of Life Index (QLI) as a tool to measure and monitor changes in living and working conditions which affect the quality of life in our communities.



There are twenty community partners across Ontario involved in the QLI project, using the Quality of Life Index to measure changes in their local communities. Their results, and those of those province, are included at http://www.qli-ont.org .



The main areas of progress have been in the environmental indicators, low birth weight babies, and social assistance. There are setbacks in public housing, child welfare, long term care, new cancer cases, and bankruptcies.



The sectoral trends in the QLI indicators show a disturbing undercurrent. The social indicators have been hardest hit since 1990, showing a decline of 21%. A social deficit has emerged in the '90s as a result of changes in public policies and the globalization of the economy. "The short term fiscal gains made by governments through drastic cuts in public services have come at the expense of long term pain for the vulnerable groups most affected by these negative social trends -children, the elderly, and the poor, who are mainly women and children. The gradual economic recovery is not being matched by a social recovery," says Malcolm Shookner, author of the report. Our quality of life has been the subject of public debate from many different points of view this spring. The trends and issues we have identified through the Quality of Life Index provide a basis for raising issues of public policy for attention by the newly elected provincial government.



Contact: Malcolm Shookner

Ontario Social Development Council

2 Carlton Street, Suite 1001, Toronto, Ontario M5B 1J3

Tel: (416) 345-8561 Fax: (416) 345-8904 Net: [email protected]

Muskoka-Parry Sound Health Unit Survey: Teenagers and Smoking

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In late May, the Muskoka-Parry Sound Health Unit unveiled the results of a survey of 2,700 teenagers in six of the secondary schools in the area. The survey revealed that the incidence of smoking has been on the rise among teenagers since a similar survey was conducted in 1995; today, more than half of the high school population smokes either occasionally or regularly. The trend in this rural/recreational area is higher than the provincial average as well.



When the stats were released it prompted a flurry of attention from the media. Even more beneficial to the staff of this health unit, it prompted members of the board of health to offer their help in generating bylaws and raising awareness of the problem. The research has given us momentum as the tobacco project office begins working on strategies to toughen local smoking bylaws - and to increase enforcement of the laws that exist. A full copy of the report is available on the health unit's website as an Acrobat .pdf file. It's located at:

http://www.mpshu.on.ca/HomePageSideBar/tobaccosurvey.htm



Submitted by: John Challis

Communications Officer

Healthy Lifestyles

Muskoka-Parry Sound Health Unit

"For the Health of It" - AOHC Conference

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London Ontario, Westin Hotel



Association of Ontario Health Centres

Call For Workshop, Presentation Ideas



Workshop Category: (please select one only)

1) Governance (Board of Directors issues)

2) Front Line Staff issues (ie. Clinical issues)

3) Volunteers (Orienting, encouraging, recognizing)

4) Policy (How things affect our daily work)

5) Programs (innovative program development)

6) Systems (Best Practice Guidelines, Y2K, Performance Appraisals, Wellcom)

7) Beyond Our Borders



Workshop Description Info Required: Each submission must contain facilitator's name, title and brief bio of about 100 to 150 No later than Friday October 16, 1998



Please return to AOHC no later than Friday October 16, 1998

Return to: 5233 Dundas Street West, Suite 410, Etobicoke, ON M9B 1A6

Or fax to: 416-236-0431

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