Our Commentaries

Our Commentaries

Our expert advisors have written opinion pieces and health articles on important health policy topics, published in leading media outlets across the country. We are making these commentaries and articles available to everyone, free of charge, with a Creative Commons license, so that you may use them in your publication or on your website. See also our Commentaries in French. Download our free eBooks — a compendium of our commentaries: Navigating the Evidence: Communicating Canadian Health Policy in the Media, Making Evidence Matter in Canadian Health Policy, and Canadian Health Policy in the News: Why Evidence Matters.

Evidence is important to us, and we are committed to getting the evidence right — even when it can be interpreted in a number of ways. If you feel we have not represented the evidence accurately or fairly in these opinion pieces, please let us know. Browse our Commentaries by category, below, or view them all here.

  • Why private health insurance coverage in Canada needs a review
    Why private health insurance coverage in Canada needs a review
    By John Have and Robert L. Brown

    Last week, the media carried a story about a nine-year-old boy in New Brunswick who was denied private health coverage because of his weight (at 5 foot 2 inches and 135 pounds). His family were shocked – as were many reading the story – that a child could be denied private health coverage in Canada.

  • British Columbias failed healthcare experiment
    British Columbia’s failed healthcare experiment
    By Ruth Lavergne and Kimberlyn McGrail

    Our first point of contact with the health system — often referred to as ‘primary care’ — should result in prompt and efficient care for our general health concerns, and coordinate our journey through the system when we need more specialized care.

  • Moving-forward-on-health-care-reform
    Moving forward on health care reform
    By Allan Maslove

    In the Speech from the Throne and since, the new Liberal government has clearly said it is ready to re-engage with the provinces and territories on health care. This is a welcome development.

  • Canadians should modernize not privatize medicare
    Canadians should modernize not privatize medicare
    By Bryan Thomas and Colleen Flood

    National Medicare Week has just passed, buoyed with optimism as a fresh-faced government takes the reins in Ottawa — elected partly on a promise of renewed federal leadership on health care. Yet these “sunny ways” are overcast by recent developments at the provincial level that entrench and legitimize two-tier care.

  • The inconsistencies of Canadian healthcare.
    The inconsistencies of Canadian healthcare
    By Robert Brown

    I spent my life teaching actuarial science at a university. As a result, I calculated lots of numbers: averages, expected values, variances. But, they were only numbers. What I didn’t see was the individual human story behind each calculation.

  • Is it fair to make a public appeal for a live organ donor
    Is it fair to make a public appeal for a live organ donor?
    By Jennifer Chandler

    The public response to the appeal on behalf of Eugene Melnyk, owner of the Ottawa Senators hockey team, for a liver donor has been a heart-warming demonstration of the generosity of our community. Fortunately, a donor was found and the transplant was performed in time to save his life.

  • Yellow pills and bottle
    Facing some unpleasant truths about opioids
    By David Juurlink

    Over the past year I’ve lost track of how many times the opioid epidemic has, in one incarnation or another (Prince, naloxone, fentanyl, newborns in agonizing withdrawal and so on) found its way onto the front page news.

  • Opioid crisis should be top of federal health agenda
    Opioid crisis should be top of federal health agenda
    By Tara Gomes

    Hundreds of codeine tablets stolen from the medicine cabinet of an elderly person living alone in a rural community. Hydromorphone tablets being distributed at weddings and high school parties. Fentanyl patches being cut up and sold for a profit on the street. This is the reality of the opioid crisis in Canada today

  • Five ways we can reduce suicides in Canada
    Cinq propositions pour réduire le taux de suicide au Canada
    By Jitender Sareen and Cara Katz

    En dépit des grands titres récents sur le sujet, les taux de suicide et de tentative de suicide n’ont pas beaucoup bougé au Canada depuis plusieurs dizaines d’années (11 sur 100 000). Ce qui a changé, c’est le taux de suicide chez les militaires, qui connaît une augmentation après être resté stable durant des décennies.

  • Assisted suicide for those with mental illness a risky proposition
    Assisted suicide for those with mental illness a risky proposition
    By Harvey Max Chochinov

    Who but those who have experienced it can appreciate the soul crushing anguish of mental illness? Afflictions of the mind can be paralyzing and fundamentally change the way we perceive ourselves (I am worthless), anticipate the future (my prospects are hopeless), and experience the world (life is unfair and unforgiving). The combination of self-loathing, hopelessness and despair can tragically lead to suicide.


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EvidenceNetwork.ca supports the use of evidence when reporting on health and health policy in the mainstream media. Specific points of view represented here are the author’s and not those of EvidenceNetwork.ca. Let us know how we’re doing: evidencenetwork@gmail.com

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