Category Archives: Health

New Brunswick’s 12 podiatrists seeking prescription rights in the province

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March 12, 2015
For immediate release

New Brunswick’s 12 podiatrists seeking prescription rights in the province

FREDERICTON, N.B. – New Brunswick’s 12 practising podiatrists (‘foot doctors’) are seeking prescription rights in the province. The New Brunswick Podiatry Association recently issued a formal submission to government through the Strategic Program Review process based on cost savings to Medicare and improved patient care, which will also save the province money through increased prevention.

“Currently, patients are forced back into the Medicare system for relatively simple prescriptions,” said Dr. Sue Davidge of Fredericton, President of the New Brunswick Podiatry Association. “Patients either pay out of their own pockets or go through their private health-care insurance to see a podiatrist. We then force them back into the taxpayer-funded system for a prescription which can easily be written by the podiatrist. It’s a waste of taxpayer dollars and is redundant. As well, the unnecessary delay in getting the prescription may result in the patient’s medical problem getting worse.”

According to a business case included with the submission, the direct cost savings to the provincial government could be as much as $1.7 million over five years. The business case was prepared by David Campbell, who has since been appointed New Brunswick’s chief economist by Premier Brian Gallant. “On top of that, we must also factor in the costs of preventing what could be major complications from happening in the first place,” Dr. Davidge said. “By having prescription rights, we will greatly increase the probability of patients actually filling their prescriptions in a timely way instead of being sent back into the health-care system and being the victims of delays and long wait times, or worse still – not getting the prescription filled at all.”

“It’s a fact that some patients don’t get the prescriptions filled because it’s too inconvenient, meaning that their foot-care problems actually get worse,” she says. “Eventually, these problems often become acute and end up costing the provincial health-care system a lot more money – and it will only get worse with rising diabetes rates. It’s just so unnecessary.”

New Brunswick has Canada’s highest rate of diabetes which is linked to severe foot-care problems, especially among seniors. This means that proper and expanded foot care in the province will continue to get more important. Podiatrists currently play a major role in helping to solve the problem and want to strengthen that role by being provided prescription rights.

“Between 2013 and 2030, the number of persons aged 65 and over with diabetes in New Brunswick is expected to rise from nearly 26,000 to over 44,000, according to Statistics Canada,” Dr. Davidge says. “To put an extra burden on seniors and have them wait in hospital emergency rooms, travel to walk-in clinics or wait for appointments for their own family physician – if they even have one – can be alleviated by providing podiatrists with prescription rights.”

“Podiatrists are primary care practitioners,” Dr. Davidge said. “Currently, there are 50,000 New Brunswickers with no family physician. This could potentially delay onset of treatment. Since podiatrists require no referrals from a family physician, and since they are private practitioners, a patient can see a podiatrist in a timely manner with little or no wait time. This can reduce emergency room and after-hour clinic wait times and reliance on Medicare-only treatment.”

Through their education program, New Brunswick’s podiatrists have all received the proper training for prescribing medication. At their own cost, they would update this training and would each be mentored by a pharmacist for a set period of time. Podiatrist-specific pharmacology courses are available through the University of Toronto and the Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences.

Currently, podiatrists in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec have prescription rights, while Saskatchewan is seriously considering providing rights. Most U.S. states grant prescription rights to podiatrists, as do the U.K. and Australia.

“Podiatrists want to be part of the solution to New Brunswick’s financial challenges, and provide the best possible care and service to patients,” Dr. Davidge said. “The provincial government has a unique opportunity to formally recognize podiatrists as being on the front line of patient care by providing them with prescription rights. This will lead to healthier New Brunswickers and less costs in the long term.”

New Brunswick is the only province in Atlantic Canada which regulates the podiatry profession.


Media contact:

Dr. Sue Davidge, Podiatrist
New Brunswick Podiatry Association

Viral Video Alert: Men going through labour pains

labour painsIt seems to be all the rage to record videos of men going through simulated labour pains. Here’s the latest one that’s making the rounds. It was filmed as a tribute to Mother’s Day.

Here’s one of the originals. This features Dutch television hosts Dennis Storm and Valerio Zeno who agreed to receive electric shocks to their abdomens to simulate labour pains for their show Proefkonijnen (“Guinea Pigs”). Scroll over the video and then click on “CC” for English subtitles.

Jeffrey Simpson to speak in Moncton on New Brunswick’s health-care challenges

Jeffrey Simpson
Click photo for a larger image.

One of Canada’s most respected authors and political commentators is coming to Moncton to speak on the challenges facing health care in New Brunswick. Jeffrey Simpson, national affairs columnist for The Globe and Mail for nearly 30 years, will be the guest speaker at the Greater Moncton Sunrise Rotary Club’s upcoming Distinguished Speakers Breakfast Series on Tuesday, March 26.

Last fall, Mr. Simpson released his eighth book, Chronic Condition: Why Canada’s Health-Care System Needs to be Dragged into the 21st Century, where he meets health-care head on and explores the only four options he sees to end the growing crisis in the industry: cuts in spending, tax increases, privatization, and reaping savings through increased efficiency.

The event will be held in the main ballroom of the Delta Beauséjour, 750 Main Street, Moncton, with doors opening at 7 a.m. and breakfast starting at 7:30 a.m. The event will wrap up by 9 a.m. Mr. Simpson will also be signing books following the event. Tickets are $40 per person and are available by contacting a member of the Greater Moncton Sunrise Rotary Club, or by requesting a ticket purchase form by emailing Tickets may also be purchased by calling Kim Eagles at 506-854-7600.

“The Greater Moncton Sunrise Rotary Club is excited about the opportunity to present Jeffrey Simpson to Greater Moncton’s business community,” said Russ Mallard, president of the Greater Moncton Sunrise Rotary Club. “This is the second in our Distinguished Speakers Breakfast Series, building on the excitement of David Ganong’s presentation last year.”

Mr. Simpson has won all three of Canada’s leading literary prizes – the Governor General’s Award for non-fiction book writing, the National Magazine Award for political writing, and the National Newspaper Award for column writing. He has also won the Hyman Solomon Award for excellence in public policy journalism. In January 2000, he became an Officer of the Order of Canada.

In addition to his latest book on health care, he has written or co-written seven other books: Discipline of Power, winner of the 1980 Governor General’s Award for non-fiction (1980); Spoils of Power (1988); Faultlines, Struggling for a Canadian Vision (1993); The Anxious Years (1996); Star-Spangled Canadians (2000); The Friendly Dictatorship (2001); and Hot Air: Meeting Canada’s Climate Change Challenge (co-authored with Mark Jaccard and Nic Rivers) (2007).

Mr. Simpson has written numerous magazine articles for such publications as Saturday Night, The Report on Business Magazine, The Journal of Canadian Studies, The Queen’s Quarterly. He has spoken at dozens of major conferences here and abroad on a variety of domestic and international issues. He has also been a regular contributor to television programs in both English and French and completed a two-hour documentary for CBC to accompany his book, Star-Spangled Canadians.

He has been a guest lecturer at such universities as Oxford, Edinburgh, Harvard, Princeton, Brigham Young, Johns Hopkins, Maine, California plus more than a dozen universities in Canada. He was won the Arthur Kroeger Award for Public Discourse and the Charles Lynch Award for outstanding coverage of national affairs and the Pollution Probe award for contributions to environmental leadership.

About Rotary

Chartered in January 2012, the Greater Moncton Sunrise Rotary Club is the newest Rotary Club in District 7810 (New Brunswick and Eastern Maine). The club currently has approximately 30 members. Despite its young age, the club’s efforts have raised more than $17,500 for community and international causes, including Food Depot Alimentaire and the Boys and Girls Club of Moncton. The club may be found on Facebook or on Twitter. New members are always welcome. Email for more information.

Rotary International’s main objective is service – in the community, in the workplace, and around the globe. The 1.2 million Rotarians who make up more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in nearly every country in the world share a dedication to the ideal of Service Above Self. Rotary clubs are open to people of all cultures and ethnicities and are not affiliated with any political or religious organizations. For more information about Rotary International, visit


Media contact:

Brian Cormier
(506) 388-5283

Social Media Matters: Facebook no longer a free ride for companies

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, Aug. 10, 2012
Metro section

Facebook no longer a free ride for companies

A landmark ruling by Australia’s governing body on advertising standards means that companies with a corporate presence on Facebook are now liable for comments users write about their brand.

An Aug. 6 article by Katherine Rushton in the British newspaper The Telegraph reported that Australia’s “Advertising Standards Board ruled that posts on Smirnoff ‘s Facebook page are effectively advertising, regardless of whether they were made by the company or a member of the public, and should therefore comply with advertising laws.” Effectively, this means that if users posted false claims about the brand, the company could by liable unless they take action against the comments by deleting them.

With the need for constant vetting of comments brings extra costs because company employees would have to be constantly scanning and policing comments left by users. “‘Any posts that make false claims about a product, or include racist or sexist language, will leave companies vulnerable to being sued unless they are removed,” according to the article.

This adds an extra layer of complexity and cost for companies promoting themselves with Facebook pages. While I can’t imagine any companies that have millions of followers will leave Facebook any time soon, Australia’s ruling will likely have repercussions around the world as other countries crack down on comments made on corporate Facebook pages.

For example, what if a user on Coca-Cola’s Facebook page writes about how the beverage cured some horrible disease? Normally, this wouldn’t be a huge deal. It’s just one person’s experience – and likely just a coincidental one.

But, in Australia, such a comment could get the corporate giant in a big legal mess for allowing false medical claims to remain on its Facebook page. Either that – or prove the validity of the comment. So, Coca-Cola should just delete it, right? Yup! They should. The problem here is that Coca-Cola has 47 million likes on their official Facebook page and nearly 700,000 tagged mentions. Of those 700,000 mentions and God knows how many Facebook comments, you can just imagine the hornets’ nest this Australian ruling has opened up.

This will be interesting, especially when the lawsuit-happy U.S. gets hold of this and the ‘freedom of speech’ advocates start pushing back.

Social media gets silly

Gabby DouglasThere are many silly online debates at any given moment, but the pointless major kerfuffle over U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas’s pulled-back hairstyle at the 2012 London Games has gotten positively surreal. “‘I don’t know where this is coming from,” she was quoted as saying in the Associated Press. “What’s wrong with my hair? I’m like, ‘I just made history and people are focused on my hair?’ It can be bald or short, it doesn’t matter about (my) hair.”

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Every week, I feature three YouTube chan­nels for you to check out. Have a favourite channel? Let me know about it and I may feature it here! Statistics are current to Aug. 7.

1) CTVOlympics (15,853 subscribers): This is the “official YouTube channel of Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium, bringing you a taste of our London 2012 Olympic Games coverage,” according to the channel’s description. As of Aug. 7, the channel hosts nearly 400 videos (with more than eight million views) offering extensive coverage and highlights of Olympic events.

Playlists include Canadian medals, must-see moments, 2012 Paralympic Games, news and highlights, as well as the opening ceremonies. (Most popular video: Badminton: Match Fixing Scandal – 104,697 views.) (The channel has disabled the embedding of videos. To see the video, please click on the link.)

2) Official Olympic Channel by the IOC (280,547 subscribers): This is the official channel of the Olympic Games hosted by the International Olympics Committee. The channel is positively chock-full of content divided up into 76 playlists and more than 1,500 videos.

Playlists include all sports from the London 2012 Games, as well as selected videos from many previous Olympics, including 1988 in Calgary, 1976 in Montreal, 2010 in Vancouver, and the two previous Olympics held in London in 1908 and 1948. (Most popular video: Usain Bolt World Record – Mens 100m Final – Beijing 2008 Olympic Games – 887,060 views.)

3) MD Anderson Cancer Center (815 subscribers): This is the official YouTube channel of the renowned MD Anderson Cancer Center located at the University of Texas in Houston. Although there aren’t as many subscribers as one would think, the channel’s video roster of more than 600 videos has nearly 1.6 million views. This is one content-rich YouTube channel that does it right!

Playlists include cancer prevention, uterine cancer, side effects, technology, pancreatic cancer, leukemia, melanoma, prostate cancer, breast cancer, brain tumors, ovarian cancer, rare cancers, colon cancer, lung cancer, lymphoma and cancer survivors, to name only a few. (Most popular video: MD Anderson Lung Cancer Survivors – 266,438 views.) (The channel has disabled the embedding of videos. To see the video, please click on the link.)

Hump Day: Stress of family member’s illness takes its toll

Hump DayHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

I’ve been under so much stress lately due to my father’s terminal illness that I’m starting to wonder when I’m going to snap.

No, don’t worry – I don’t mean ‘snap’ as in end up as the top news story on CNN, but perhaps just lose my temper and explode at someone verbally, leaving them in a puddle of tears with their eyes wide open after the string of profanity I’ve unleashed on them. I’ve had to catch myself a few times lately.

My father’s roommate in the hospital recently amassed all the visitors’ chairs in the room. No, it’s not a huge problem. I simply reclaimed one when I needed it.

The other day, though, he got upset with me for borrowing one of the chairs and started swearing and muttering under his breath for the next 20 minutes as I spoon-fed my father his supper. Apparently, he was oblivious to the fact that I could hear everything.

I was very nice about it and understood completely that he was sick, too. By all accounts, he’s a very nice man. I imagine he’d also rather just be home and healthy. I’m not sure what his prognosis is or even what’s wrong with him, but it took all my strength not to unleash a torrent of verbal diarrhea on him when I sensed the frustration from him over temporarily losing one of his chairs.

Thankfully, I took a deep breath and common sense prevailed.

I’m very aware of the stress I’ve been under as I watch Dad fall deeper and deeper into dementia and terminal illness from cancer. The speed at which this is all progressing has increased dramatically in the past weeks.

There’s no denying it, now. It’s not going to end well.

Visiting him is emotionally draining. I suppose this is absolutely normal. After all, who in their right mind wouldn’t feel a bit sad and anxious after visiting a dying parent? It’s just a bit surreal. I’ve never had to do this before.

I’ve never had to feed someone. I’ve never had to watch someone close to me decline day by day.

Many of you reading this will sympathize. You’ve been there. You’ve done that. You bought the postcard.

Until you go through it, it’s difficult to explain. You have to keep your wits about you because losing your mind isn’t really an option. You have to remain as alert as a hawk to anything different happening with your loved one. You have to chat with the nurses to see how things are going. You have to talk to the dying loved one even though, quite frankly, sometimes there isn’t much to talk about.

There are only so many times he can ask me if I’m busy in my business or about the weather. The lack of conversation topics is not easy. At this point, his days are all blurring together. He’s not sure what day it is or what month it is.

If I ask him if someone visited him today (knowing that they did), he’ll say he doesn’t remember. As you can imagine, this isn’t a good sign.

In situations like this, reality also must play a part of your daily life. You still have to work and function to put food on the table and pay the mortgage. You also have to ensure that there will be somewhere around $11,000 available to pay for a gravesite, funeral and headstone when the time comes. There’s the money he has in the bank. There are the monthly pension cheques to be deposited depending on how long he lives. Thankfully, there’s the small life insurance policy he wisely got several years ago, and there’s the federal Canada Pension Plan death benefit. All that comes into the mix.

I felt the need to look into funeral arrangements just so I’d know what to expect. There are a lot of things I can’t control in my father’s illness, but this is one thing I can. So, I looked into it before it was absolutely necessary.

You also need to remember to have a bit of fun. I was invited to my cousin’s cabin last weekend to spend time with family and had to force myself to go. I didn’t feel like it, but I knew I had to change my mindset and relax a bit. I listened to a great audio book by motivational guru and author Jack Canfield on the way to her cabin and back. The outing was refreshing and badly needed!

This weekend, my 30th high school reunion is coming up and I’ ll definitely be there with bells on. My camera is staying home. I’m not taking photos. I’m just going to enjoy myself. I might even get a little bit tipsy. Quite frankly, I think I need it. I just dread Sunday morning. I’ve been blessed with the ‘bad hangover’ gene, God’s way of ensuring I never become an alcoholic.

I’m beginning to realize that self-awareness is very important in this experience. I know I’m likely much more stressed than I think I am. I also know that I could just snap any minute and break down if I take something the wrong way or if someone starts an argument.

Take a few big breaths and count to 10. That’s my new motto during this ordeal – for my sanity.

At some point, though, someone’s probably going to say the wrong thing at the wrong time – something that I wouldn’t even normally blink at – and I’m going to tear a strip off them so badly that they’ll end up in the hospital emergency room requiring a skin graft operation. It’s important during times like these to remain self-aware and alert.

Remind yourself to breathe and remind yourself that, in the end, everything will be OK.