Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

McRae Wants Next Council To Consider Mental Health “Roadmap”

- October 7th, 2014

Outgoing River Coun. Maria McRae could have some influence in the next term of council when it comes to looking out for the mental health of municipal employees.

When McRae was re-elected in 2010, she mentioned that she wanted to make mental health issues a “pet project”.

McRae plans to bring the motion below to tomorrow’s council meeting. If passed, it will at least make the next council consider making mental health a priority in the municipal public service. The next council term begins Dec. 1.

Whereas City Council has adopted an Equity and Inclusion lens that asks, among other things, that the City consider mental health issues when looking at the programs and services it provides; and

Whereas Members of Council believe that mental health and the psychological safety of all City of Ottawa employees to be as important as other aspects of health and safety; and

Whereas it has been estimated that each week approximately half a million Canadians do not go to work due to mental illness and the Canadian economy spends more than $51 billion a year in lost productivity due to workplace mental illness; and

Whereas a mentally healthy workplace helps keep workers safe, engaged and productive and investing in a mentally healthy workplace contributes to effective cost management of absenteeism, grievances, disability, retraining, and turnover, and improved productivity, retention, recruitment, and engagement; and

Whereas all Members of Ottawa City Council are committed to supporting a mentally healthy workplace through appropriate policies, programs and services and to ensuring that City of Ottawa employees living with mental illness and their families receive appropriate access to care and support; and

Whereas all Members of Ottawa City Council want to reduce the stigma related to mental illness in the workplace and to create a work environment where those living with mental illness feel comfortable and supported when seeking help, treatment, and support for recovery; and

Whereas all members of Ottawa City Council recognize that there is more that they can do to help ensure that all City of Ottawa employees can enjoy good mental health at work;

Therefore Be It Resolved That Ottawa City Council direct City staff to provide the 2014-2018 term of City Council with a roadmap for improving workplace mental health at the City of Ottawa for their consideration as a Term of Council priority, including as follows:

· That the roadmap be developed in consultation with the City’s unions and using resources available from organizations such as the Mental Health Commission of Canada; and

· That the roadmap make recommendations for an integrated approach to make “A Mentally Healthy Workplace” a 2014-2018 Term of Council priority based on sources such as the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace; and

Be It Further Resolved that City Council declare October 5 to 11, 2014 Mental Illness Awareness Week in the City of Ottawa.

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Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling and at ottawasun.com.

Clearly No Appetite To Stop Fluoridation In Ottawa

- March 18th, 2014

The letter below fuelled some unexpected debate at a public health board meeting yesterday.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit was looking for the Ottawa health board’s support in asking the province to essentially take over funding and promotion of municipal water fluoridation.

Interesting that the letter suggests that too much time and resources have gone into combatting the anti-fluoridation movement, which was pretty much confirmed by Dr. Isra Levy, Ottawa’s medical officer of health.

There was some discussion at the health board meeting about whether the health unit should write a letter of support. One member was wary about writing a letter because it would draw attention to the anti-fluoridation people. And Coun. David Chernushenko, as I noted in the story, expressed skepticism about fluoridation.

However, it was clear the board, for the most part, and Levy give no credence to anti-fluoridiation groups (example). Under this health administration and board, fluoridation is here to stay.

It is interesting, though, how many Canadian municipalities have stopped adding fluoride to their water supply.

By the way, everything you want to know about how the City of Ottawa adds fluoride to our water can be found here.

SimcoeMuskoka Fluoride Jan15 2014

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Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling and at ottawasun.com.

Watson’s Next Move After Casino Health Report

- August 20th, 2013

Has public health’s opposition to new casinos given Mayor Jim Watson pause for thought?

It’s uncharacteristic for Watson to admit he hasn’t brushed up on a major city issue after being asked for insight. A Sun reporter tried to get his thoughts Sunday and I tried again yesterday afternoon, minutes before the public health board vetted, and ultimately accepted, the report. I touched base with his office last night to see if the mayor would comment, since the board endorsed public health’s opposition. But, nothing again. It doesn’t sound like the mayor intends to speak on the matter until the finance and economic development committee meeting Monday.

(Note: Five councillors on the health board — Holmes, Fleury, Chernushenko, Hobbs and Egli — voted in favour of opposing more access to gaming in Ottawa. Coun. Shad Qadri voted against.)

Watson obviously knows the crux of the health report. So, I surmise the mayor is thinking about his next move.

Which is, really, what this whole month delay has been for council. But the delay, in my opinion, is mostly related to how politicians plan to keep Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk happy while endorsing expanded gaming at the Rideau Carleton Raceway.

And now council has something else to deal with: Public health’s recommendation to be handed $350,000 of the city’s annual gaming commission from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp., new casino or not.

It’s all rather uncomfortable.

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Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling and at ottawasun.com.

Dr. Christiane Farazli To Face Discipline Hearing

- July 16th, 2013

This just in: Dr. Christiane Farazli will face a disciplinary hearing at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.

Farazli is the endoscopy doctor whose out-of-hospital clinic failed an inspection in May 2011. The college says the clinic’s instruments weren’t being cleaned properly. That prompted Ottawa Public Heath to try and track down about 6,800 former patients to tell them there was a very low risk they were infected. The college has been investigating ever since.

There are several allegations involving several patients. In sum, the college alleges incompetence.

No hearing date yet.

Transparency (Hopefully) Coming To Clinic Inspections

- January 30th, 2013

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is holding a special meeting Thursday to decide if there should be more transparency in its out-of-hospital inspection program.

Here’s the full report for the college’s council.

Basically, the council will decide if it should post results of those clinics that fail inspections on its website. The executive committee has already agreed to the move.

There’s plenty of mystery surrounding the new out-of-hospital inspection program. The college doesn’t really talk about the aftermath of an inspection, leaving patients asking questions that aren’t answered.

It hits home in Ottawa since an endoscopy clinic failed an inspection almost two years ago and there has been no update since then.

Seems like a no-brainer to me.