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New doctor at Omemee Medical Centre; chose CKL after training here

in Community/Health by
New doctor at Omemee Medical Centre; chose CKL after training here

The Kawartha Lakes Health Care Initiative (KLHCI) and Omemee Medical Centre are pleased to announce a new doctor for City of Kawartha Lakes. Dr. Satvir Sahans will be joining the Omemee clinic, as of August 1.

Sahans attended Simon Fraser University in British Columbia for his Bachelor of Science Degree. He completed his Medical Degree at the University of Queensland in 2015 and Family Medicine Residency at the University of Toronto in 2018. Sahans will be accepting new patients through Health Care Connect. If you are not currently registered with Health Care Connect please contact them directly at 1-800-445-1822 or www.ontario.ca/healthcareconnect.

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Child and youth mental health issues impact entire family

in Health by

The mental health of a young person is equally important as their physical health. This reality can be lost in a world of competing demands on our health care system. The statistics suggest that one in five children and youth in Ontario will experience an issue related to their mental health and that five out of six (almost 85 per cent) will not receive the treatment they need for various reasons.

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Unfinished business: Time for a national Pharmacare system

in Health/Poverty Reduction by
Unfinished business: Time for a national Pharmacare system
The World Health Organization declared that “all nations should ensure universal access to necessary medicine.

More than 15,000 people in Kawartha Lakes do not have adequate prescription drug coverage. Far too many of our fellow citizens with a needed prescription can’t afford to get the medicine, or they ration the prescription in ill-advised ways. Not filling a prescription (or rationing incorrectly) due to the price of medications is something experts call “cost-related non-adherence (CRNA).” That’s a fancy way of describing people who can’t afford to take their drugs properly, if it at all. And the number of people who are forced to do this is staggering, because of the lack of a national Pharmacare system.

A 2015 survey found that “24 per cent of Ontarians reported that they or a member of their household did not take their medications as prescribed, or missed medications, due to cost.” Given that, according to the CMAJO, “drugs for mental health conditions were the most commonly reported drug class for cost-related non-adherence.” It’s clear that prescription drug cost is a major problem, not just nationally, but locally.

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Mental health training is available to all of us

in Health/Opinion by

The desire to help and the hope that we can provide direction, care, or support to someone that may be struggling is inherent in many of us. Whether it is a family member, friend, or even a neighbour, when we see a loved one experiencing mental distress most of us are genuinely inclined to help.

Quite often two things keep us from offering that support: We are either 1) Not sure what we’re supposed to do or 2) We’re afraid if we do something, we’re going to end up worsening the situation.

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Taking care of each other: Collective wealth into well-being

in Health/Poverty Reduction by
Taking care of each other: Collective wealth into well-being

I always feel a little anxious sitting in the dentist chair, but fortunately I usually only need a cleaning. One thing I never worried about was paying for our family’s dental visits. Prescription drug coverage, dental care and other health care options were part of a benefits package my family received through my spouse’s unionized workplace. Why would I not wish that peace of mind for everyone?

Taking care of our bodies is a human need, but we have yet to make a commitment to a comprehensive health care system for everyone regardless of work status or income. Dental care and prescription drug coverage is both essential and expensive. Many people however, do not receive benefits through their workplace and cannot afford private insurance. Others remain on social assistance rather than take a low wage job without benefits.

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‘Attrition protection’ fund added by PCs to prevent teacher layoffs

in Education by
'Attrition protection' fund added by PCs to prevent teacher layoffs

A news release from the Ontario government indicates that a new “Attrition Protection Allocation” of $1.6 billion in the province’s education funding model will top-up funding for school boards to protect front-line teaching staff from being laid off.

This will “prevent boards from having to lay off teachers impacted by proposed changes in class sizes and e-learning,” says the release.

The PCs appear to be getting the message from both union picketing and community feedback, after weeks of advocacy that tried to prevent the layoffs.

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International Day of the Midwife: 24,000 babies a year in Ontario delivered by midwife

in Health/Opinion by
International Day of the Midwife: Delivering 24,000 babies a year in Ontario

Happy International Day of the Midwife this coming May 5!  Not that long ago, only a few generations, most babies were delivered by midwives. Today, modern midwifery is making a positive impact by supporting families to safely give birth in home or hospital settings, while paying close attention to social and cultural factors to support a heart-warming and profound but usually quite normal event. Midwives in Ontario deliver about 17 per cent of the babies in the province or around 24,000 per year.

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Board losing millions in funding; Director of education says ‘change is upon us’

in Education/Provincial by
Board losing millions in funding; Director of education says ‘change is upon us’
Director of Education Larry Hope for the Trillium Lakelands District School Board.

The widespread cuts to education by the PC government will mean millions of dollars will be lost to the Trillium Lakelands District School Board. However, Director of Education, Larry Hope, says a highly regarded construction program at LCVI can’t solely be blamed on the PC government.

Among other cuts, the board is facing:

  • a $423,000 shortfall for Early Childhood Educators (ECEs).
  • a $526,000 drop in board funding because of new classroom caps for Grades 4-8.
  • a $3.8 million shortfall as secondary class sizes balloon from 22 to 28 students as a cap

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Construction program at LCVI folds due to cuts by PC government

in Education by
"We have had so many success stories with students who are non-traditional learners."

For more than a decade Lindsay Collegiate and Vocational Institute (LCVI) has run the Gold Star Construction
program.

The program targeted senior students, many of whom faced challenges in regular classrooms, and offered real world work experiences on job sites around Lindsay. It also offered them a range of useful certifications including First Aid, Working at Heights, and Chainsaw operator certification.

With the cuts to education from the PC government under Premier Doug Ford, that program will not return next year, despite students having already enrolled in it, says a press release from OSSTF.

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Ford axes efficient library book sharing system

in Community/Education by
"The smaller the system, the more rural the system, then they will be affected more.”

It’s a government that is apparently obsessed with finding efficiencies. Yet Premier Doug Ford’s PC government just axed one of the most effective and efficient services in the Ontario library system – a broad-based sharing program between the province’s libraries.

Funding for two key library services – the Southern Ontario Library Service (SOLS) and the Northern Ontario Library Service (NOLS) has been cut in half. SOLS – of which Kawartha Lakes library system is a member of — supplies courier service that moves material between different library systems. Given the deep cuts, it has now been suspended until May 31 while they clear the backlog of books and items in transit.

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