The Liberal government is delaying the expansion of medical assistance in dying (MAiD) for people solely suffering from a mental illness until 2027.
Health Minister Mark Holland and Justice Minister Arif Virani made the announcement Thursday, saying provincial and territorial health systems are not ready for the expansion.
“By setting out a timeline of three years, it’s an indication that the systems need to move towards readiness in two years. There’s the opportunity to do another review, and to assess the readiness of the system through a parliamentary process,” Holland said Thursday.
The expansion of MAid for people suffering from mental illness was set to happen this spring. But most provinces and all the territory’s health ministers sent a joint letter to Holland calling for an indefinite pause to the expansion.
Holland and Virani said that the expansion will happen, but they need to allow time for health-care providers to receive proper training about how to handle these sensitive cases. Virani said they are committed to striking a “delicate balance.”
Cardiac arrest can happen at any age, experts warn
Every nine minutes a Canadian suffers a cardiac arrest outside hospitals and only one in 10 people survives, according to a report released Thursday by the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
The report found that the number of cardiac arrests in Canada is significantly higher than previously estimated.
“We used to estimate the affected 40,000 people annually in Canada. And now our closest estimates, more accurately, would say 60,000 cardiac arrests are happening each year,” said Dr. Christian Vaillancourt, a professor of emergency medicine at the University of Ottawa.
The data from the report also found that nearly half of cardiac arrests happen to people under the age of 65.
Cardiac arrest can affect anybody, Vaillancourt said, adding that half of those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest have no prior symptoms or indicators of trouble.
Around 80 per cent of cardiac arrests happen at home, he noted.
Read more about how to help save lives in unexpected emergencies like cardiac arrest.
— THE TOPIC —
Why isn’t the HPV vaccine free for many Canadians?
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in Canada and is also the primary cause of cervical cancer.
Introduced in Canada in 2006, the HPV vaccine has proven highly effective in preventing cervical cancer. While publicly funded for some, many must bear the out-of-pocket cost, which typically amounts to around $600.
In Canada, the HPV vaccination is recommended for all females aged nine to 45 and for males aged nine to 26.
It’s publicly funded throughout Canada through school-based programs, but the criteria for a free dose varies on what province you live in. This is because the vaccine is most effective when it is given during the pre-adolescent years, before exposure to the virus.
“It’s a real burden on Canadian women,” Francoeur said. “Nowadays, it’s so hard for young people to have a home, with inflation just to pay your daily bills that the vaccination to prevent the cancer is it’s going to be pushed further.”
She believes that making the vaccine more accessible to Canadians, can decrease the cases of cervical cancer across the country.
When questioned about why the vaccine wasn’t universally funded, she explained that some provinces may deem it economically unfeasible.