Thursday, May 10, 2018


The Canadian Health Coalition is a public advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and improvement of Medicare. You can learn more about our work at

Facebook: CanadianHealthCoalition | Twitter: @healthcoalition
Ottawa, April, 2018: The Canadian Health Coalition, which represents health care advocates across the country, applauds the Parliamentary Committee on Health (HESA) on its report on a national public drug plan: Pharmacare Now: Prescription Medicine Coverage for all Canadians.
"It should be acted on as soon as possible", said CHC Chair Pauline Worsfold, RN. "Bravo! The Committee has not just recommended improved, universal public drug coverage for all Canadians, but has given us a clear road map for how to get there."
The recommendations provide a detailed guide for a federal-provincial-territorial drug plan that would include everyone. The Canada Health Act that now provides public health care for doctors and hospitals would be expanded to include prescription drugs. This would also mean a significant financial contribution by the federal government to the cost.
The committee also proposes serious improvements to the protection of Canadians from the self-interest of pharmaceutical companies. New drugs would be evaluated by an independent government agency free of influence by pharmaceutical companies. There would also be a new national data collection to collect and review adverse drug reactions.
The Committee also recommends transparent negotiations with the drug companies over prices, building on the work of the pan-Canadian Alliance, but with the important additional bargaining strength of covering the whole population.
What does all this mean? It means public drug coverage for all Canadians, as now exists for doctors and hospitals. It means an end to different access to drugs depending where you live and work. It means an effective process to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies, reducing costs to a more reasonable level.
For more information, please contact: 

James Hutt
National Director, Policy and Advocacy (Interim)

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Private care is an essential part of an effective health system

We should stop demonizing private clinics - and the patients who need them - and recognize that they're part of the solution

By Bacchus Barua
Associate director
Centre for Health Policy Studies
The Fraser Institute
Bacchus Barua
Bacchus Barua
Last month, on the heels of a new threat from the British Columbia government to fine doctors who accept private payment for treatment already covered by the government-run health-care system, a trial - initiated more than seven years ago by a private Vancouver clinic led by Dr. Brian Day - resumed.
Day, a former head of the Canadian Medical Association, is fighting to allow privately-funded treatment for patients who the public system has failed.
Just a few days later, data from the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI) reported that about one-third of patients in B.C. did not receive joint replacements and cataract surgeries within the remarkably long government benchmarks. And it's getting worse.
These events have again raised the contentious topic of patient cost-sharing and the appropriate role of the private sector within, and alongside, a universal health-care system.
Unfortunately, defenders of the status quo have misled Canadians into believing that to maintain universal health care, patients should neither expect to share in the cost of their treatment nor use their financial resources to access treatment outside the public system.
And yet a glance around the world reveals that private-sector options and cost-sharing are norms, not exceptions, in successful universal health-care countries.
A recent Fraser Institute study compared Canada's approach to universal health care with systems in Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Each of these countries share the same goal of universal access to care, spend about same as Canada (some more, some less) but have remarkably shorter wait times.
And most of these countries embrace the private sector as a fundamental part of their universal health-care framework. In the Netherlands, for example, individuals are expected to purchase health insurance from private (including for-profit) insurers in a regulated but competitive market.
More than one-third of hospitals in Germany operate on a for-profit basis but are generally also accessible by patients with public insurance.
Even the U.K. has a robust parallel private system, often used as an alternative to the ailing public National Health Service (NHS). In fact, Prince Philip recently received a hip replacement at a private facility and questions have been raised about whether the NHS, which has long waiting lists, would have even treated someone his age.
All these countries except the U.K. accept cost-sharing as a normal part of universal health care. Cost-sharing establishes the right incentives to ensure patients make more informed decisions about when and where to use scarce medical resources.
Patients in Switzerland can expect to pay the first 300 franc (equal to roughly C$390) of their medical bills before insurance kicks in - and 10 per cent of the cost of their treatment, up to a maximum of 700 franc per year.
In Australia, although much was made of the government's recent see-saw on the question of a $7 fee for general practitioner visits, patients can still expect to pay about 15 per cent of the cost of specialist visits (sometimes more, if doctors charge above the government rate).
Of course, all the countries examined protect vulnerable groups, and therefore either exempt certain populations from payments (children, mothers), provide a government safety net or set annual ceilings on out-of-pocket expenses.
Only in Canada are doctors threatened with fines for looking after patients privately and outside of the government-funded system, while patients are made to feel guilty for paying for their own treatment. In no other successful universal health-care system does government step between doctor and patient, and forbid doctors from providing medically necessary treatment.
Of course, if our governments provided timely access to care, patients would be less inclined to pay for treatment. However, that's not the case. Data from the Fraser Institute's annual survey of wait times reveal that patients are waiting longer than ever.
Until governments in Canada realize that the private sector and patient cost-sharing are a normal part of universal health care, Canadians will likely continue to wait for the treatment they need within the confines of the only system available.
Bacchus Barua is associate director of the Fraser Institute's Centre for Health Policy Studies.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars
Yield: 16 to 20 bars
    for the streusel:
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted, plus room temperature butter for pan
  • 3/4 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1-1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • for the bars:
  • 1/2 lb. rhubarb, cut into 1/2'' pieces
  • 1/2 lb. strawberries, hulled and sliced 1/4" thick
  • 2 T. light brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3/4 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 c. powdered sugar, plus more for dusting finished bars
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a 9'' square baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2'' overhang on 2 sides. Butter and flour parchment paper and pan, tapping out the excess flour. Set aside.
for the streusel:
Whisk together the butter, brown sugar, and salt. Add flour and mix with a fork until large crumbs form. Refrigerate until ready to use.
for the bars:
In a medium bowl, combine rhubarb, strawberries, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup of the flour. In another medium bowl, whisk the remaining 1-1/4 cup of flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. With mixer on low, beat in vanilla, then flour mixture. Spread batter in prepared pan. Top with rhubarb and strawberry mixture, then top with prepared streusel. If you like to have some of the pretty red of the rhubarb and strawberries show on top (I do!), poke a few pieces up through the streusel.

Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a bit of moist crumbs attached, about 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool completely in pan. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and, using the parchment paper overhang, lift cake from pan. Cut into bars and dust with powdered sugar. Serve as is, or with some freshly whipped and sweetened lovely!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Starkist® Launches New Chicken Creations™ Pouches

CHICKEN?! That's Right, CHICKEN!  StarKist Expands Product Line Beyond Seafood with the Introduction of New Chicken Creations Pouches

PITTSBURGH, May 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- America's favorite tuna, StarKist®, is proud to announce the launch of its newest product innovation, Chicken Creations™ pouches, available nationwide this summer.  The launch of chicken pouches marks the brand's first foray outside of the seafood space.  The line of premium white chicken is available in four flavors in the signature ready-to-eat pouches, including StarKist® Chicken Creations™ BOLD Buffalo Style, StarKist® Chicken Creations™ Ginger Soy, StarKist® Chicken Creations™ Zesty Lemon Pepper and StarKist® Chicken Creations™ Chicken Salad. 
"After 100 years in the tuna business, we proudly announce that StarKist is now a diversified healthy food company," said Andy Mecs, Vice President of Marketing & Innovation, StarKist Co. "It is our goal to provide convenient, healthy options that satisfy the palates and nutritional needs for all Americans.  Chicken Creations is a natural extension to our highly successful Tuna and Salmon Creations® as we already have the pouch expertise and consumer trust in our high quality flavored protein products.  We are pleased that consumers will now have even more to love as they can Tear, Eat, and Go®."
The new, premium, white meat chicken pouches are made with chicken sourced from American farms – raised cage free and hormone free*. As protein snacking is on the rise, StarKist Chicken Creations pouches ensure that consumers are satisfied with great taste, while staying fueled with the protein they need. This exciting meal solution maintains a convenient, tear-open and no-drain design, a necessity for those always on the move.
StarKist's Favorite TV Mom Loves Chicken Charlie the Tuna's wingman (er, wingwoman) on this launch is StarKist spokesperson Candace Cameron Bure, star of "Full House" and "Fuller House".  She will help to launch the line of single-serve pouches as a new way to fuel her "go" as an actor, director, producer, author, exercise enthusiast and dedicated mom.
"I've loved working with StarKist over the past year.  Their delicious line of tuna and salmon pouches – especially BOLD Hot Buffalo Style – has become my go-to snack post-workout or on set," said Candace Cameron Bure. "The launch of StarKist's first ever chicken pouch line is big, and I'm thrilled I can enjoy the same convenience with this new protein option!"
The launch of Chicken Creations is part of a fully integrated marketing campaign, with TV commercials, print media, influencer outreach, social media promotions and couponing. Bure will be featured prominently in StarKist's multimedia campaigns, including a 15-second television commercial.  In addition, Bure will be featured in a national public relations campaign, and digital and social media, where Bure will be sharing her own personal health tips including quick and easy recipes featuring her favorite StarKist products.
Chicken Flavors to Satisfy any CravingStarKist's current line of delicious, single-serve, seasoned Tuna and Salmon Creations pouches consist of 15 varieties, including six new BOLD flavors, to suit everyone's craving and support the recommended two servings (8 oz.) of seafood weekly.
The new line of Chicken Creations features four varieties including:
  • Chicken Creations: BOLD Buffalo StyleBuffalo Style delivers the BOLD taste consumers are looking for. Its delectable, Buffalo-style chicken, prepared with a dash of paprika, vinegar and fiery hot sauce.  It has 80 calories and 9 grams of protein. A lot like Buffalo wings, only better, because you can take this spicy deliciousness anywhere.
  • Chicken Creations: Ginger Soy:  Chefs around the world love ginger because it pairs with so many ingredients. StarKist's premium chicken with vinegar and tangy Asian ginger soy seasoning has 90 calories and 10 grams of protein, making Ginger Soy perfect to enjoy in a lettuce wrap, over rice or as a quick snack right out of the pouch between errands. 
  • Chicken Creations: Zesty Lemon PepperPrepared with citrusy lemon and black pepper, this new gluten free, soy free chicken with 70 calories and 9 grams of protein per pouch can be enjoyed anywhere – on an energetic walk or as an afternoon snack.  It's perfect on a Greek salad, cucumber slices or straight from the Pouch.
  • Chicken Creations: Chicken Salad: StarKist's tasty chicken salad includes savory dill relish, crisp celery, red peppers and a unique ingredient – convenience. With 70 calories and 9 grams of protein, you can add the ready-to-eat premium white chicken salad to a sandwich, salad or enjoy straight from the pouch.
The lean, low fat protein retails for approximately $1.75 per pouch and will be found adjacent to tuna in the shelf-stable meat section at retailers nationwide and at your favorite e-tailers this summer.   While Chicken Creations can be enjoyed straight from the pouch, they are also a great addition to a variety of meals. Visit to learn more about the brand, its products and to explore StarKist developed recipes such as the Weeknight Buffalo Chicken Tacos below:
2, 2.6 oz. pouches StarKist® Chicken Creations™ BOLD Buffalo Style
4 small whole wheat soft tortillas
1 cup shredded Bibb lettuce
½ cup diced tomatoes
1 avocado, diced
  1. Place 2 tortillas or taco shells in taco stand or on a plate.  Repeat with the other 2.
  2. Fill with ¼ cup shredded lettuce, 2 Tbsp. diced tomatoes and ¼ of the avocado.
  3. Top each with ½ a pouch of Chicken Creations™.
Serves: 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes
*Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in poultry products

About StarKistStarKist Co. provides trusted, healthy, food products in the United States. An industry innovator, StarKist was the first brand to introduce StarKist single-serve pouch products, which include Tuna Creations® and Salmon Creations®, and now Chicken Creations®.  As America's favorite tuna, StarKist represents a tradition of quality, consumer trust and a commitment to sustainability. StarKist's charismatic brand icon, Charlie® the Tuna, swam into the hearts of tuna fans in 1961 and is still a fan favorite today. StarKist Co. is a subsidiary of the Dongwon Group.

About Candace Cameron BureCandace Cameron Bure is an American actress, producer, New York Times' bestselling author, and former TV talk show host. She is best known to millions worldwide through her role as D.J. Tanner on the iconic family sitcom "Full House," and continues to flourish in the entertainment industry. She is currently starring in the hit Netflix spinoff "Fuller House," producing and acting in multiple movies with Hallmark Channel & Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, and previously served as a co-host on ABC's "The View". While juggling her successful career, Bure is also a devoted wife and mother of three who is outspoken and passionate about her faith and family. She shares her family time between Los Angeles and Napa Valley, California, and she enjoys eating healthy and being physically active. Candace hopes to inspire others through her work as well as her social media channels.