Families and the Pandemic

My youngest son was about seven years old when I married for the second time. His father had married again about one year earlier. My new husband had two sons, both older than my youngest son, who already had an older brother and sister. He was now the youngest of five and he was terrified…

Gambling: Some Facts and Resources

Last week, Dr. Scott Wooder, a family physician from Stoney Creek, reported the story of someone who had lost much of their family’s money through problem gambling. In a question to me, he noted that we don’t spend enough time talking about the impact of gambling on people’s and families’ health. I agree with him,…

Advocating for the Advocate

Since the announcement last Thursday that the Ontario Child Advocate’s office would be closed, many groups have expressed their concern that the voice of children and youth in Ontario will be silenced. Many have made an impassioned plea to Premier Ford and his government to reverse this decision. Rather than reiterate their concerns, let me…

Driving and Marijuana

With the legalization of marijuana fast approaching (The Government of Canada is now saying “sometime this summer”), it was only a matter of time until one of my patients asked this question: “Dr. Beck, how much marijuana will I be able to use and still drive?” “I didn’t think you were driving yet.” “I’m not…

Not Just Any Village

In recent months, I have come to learn more and more about the difficulties indigenous youth have in obtaining mental health services. In part, this is because local, provincial and federal news reports are calling attention to these difficulties but I am also very much aware of the needs of these young people in my…

Patient Accountability II

In January, I wrote a brief introductory essay on the reasons I feel patients must be included as full partners in health care, having not just the right to good care, but also responsibility for certain facets of the health care system.  There were so many comments and concerns raised by that introduction that I…

Patient Accountability: Is it reasonable?

I am puzzled by Canadian federal and provincial governments’ collective reluctance to make patients partners in their own healthcare by expecting them to accept certain responsibilities for their own health and for the sustainability of the healthcare system. Why does it seem unreasonable to governments to ask citizens to meet a minimal set of expectations…

Ministers

I am getting pretty fed up with Health Ministers. Ontario’s Minister of Health and Long Term Care, Eric Hoskins, dumped a “deal” on the table for Ontario doctors at 8 a.m. last Wednesday morning. He was in a press conference by 9 a.m. letting the public know that he had offered Ontario doctors more money…