Les Nouvelles et Questions courantes

Center Documents Racial Disparities in Access to Reproductive Health Care in the U.S.

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Women of color in the U.S. fare worse than white women in every aspect of reproductive health, according to a letter the Center submitted today to the UN committee that will review U.S. compliance with the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) early next year. In particular, the letter highlights racial disparities in maternal mortality, sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy.  Read the letter.

The Frontline Health Dialogues, Report from the Ottawa Roundtable

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by Nathalie Pierre, Helen Seibel

In June 2007, a group of doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, policy-makers, nonprofit leaders and academics gathered in Ottawa for the first of a series of dialogues to discuss the issues and challenges in delivering frontline healthcare in Canada.  This groundbreaking national roundtable asked the question: What will it take to make Canada the best in the world at meeting the healthcare needs of unserved and underserved populations? The Frontline Health Dialogues, Report from the Ottawa Roundtable details the roundtable's proceedings and key conclusions.  The report can be downloaded on the Canadian Policy Research Networks website.

HPV vaccine campaign struggles

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Low Ontario uptake rate "a huge disappointment," says expert

National Review of Medicine DECEMBER 15, 2007 VOLUME 4 NO. 20

By Owen Dyer

The campaign to inoculate Canadian schoolgirls against human papilloma virus (HPV) has been struck by a wave of adverse reactions. But it's not fever or fainting that's perplexing public health officials in Ontario - the vaccine Gardasil seems to be admirably safe - rather it's a rash of parental refusals that is leaving many districts trailing far behind their targets.  Read the complete article.

Making Normal Birth A Reality

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Ob-gyn and midwife organizations in the UK are endorsing a new consensus report calling for action to increase rates of ‘normal birth’ where appropriate in order to minimize morbidity and complication rates.

The 8-page document, Making Normal Birth A Reality, was developed by members of the Maternity Care Working Party, an independent multidisciplinary body that campaigns for improvements in maternity care. The document is endorsed by the UK’s Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), the Royal College of Midwives, the National Childbirth Trust, and other organizations.

he report, which is available via the website of the RCOG, also calls for government action to fund further research about best practice in relation to normal birth and to provide financial and regulatory incentives, and education and training, to enable the recommendations above to be implemented rapidly within the health service.

New Pharmacare Program: Nova Scotia

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Many Nova Scotians will benefit from the Nova Scotia Family Pharmacare program to help defray the cost of prescription drugs starting March 1, 2008.

The program is available to all Nova Scotians and everyone is encouraged to enroll. Being in the program will give Nova Scotians peace of mind in case their medical needs change and they require prescription drugs. In some cases, these drugs can cost thousands of dollars. The program, which requires no premium or fees to enroll, will also have a cap on annual out-of-pocket costs for eligible drugs at a percentage of a family's income.

The Family Pharmacare program will not affect existing private or public drug assistance plans such as those offered through the Department of Community Services.

All residents with a valid Nova Scotia health card can enrol. More information and enrolment forms are available on the government website or by calling toll-free 1-877-330-0323.

The Global Gender Gap Report 2007

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Published by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with faculty at Harvard University and University of California, Berkeley

The Global Gender Gap Report 2007 is based on the innovative new methodology introduced last year and includes detailed profiles that provide insight into the economic, legal and social aspects of the gender gap in each country. The Report measures the size of the gender gap in four critical areas of inequality between men and women:

1) Economic participation and opportunity – outcomes on salaries, participation levels and access to high-skilled employment

2) Educational attainment – outcomes on access to basic and higher level education

3) Political empowerment – outcomes on representation in decision-making structures

4) Health and survival – outcomes on life expectancy and sex ratio

Read the complete press release and download the report on the World Economic Forum website.

Report Shows Who Gets Hurt Most By Housing Crisis

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Co-Opertaive Housing Federation of Canada (CHF Canada) has released a new report on the almost four million Canadians without acceptable housing. The report shows that renters, new immigrants, lone parent families, young adults, the elderly and Aboriginal households are hardest hit by the lack of affordable housing.

Behind the housing statistics are real people who pay the price for Canada’s lack of affordable housing,” says CHF Canada’s Executive Director Nicholas Gazzard in a media release.

Bill to Protect Fetuses Would Hurt Pregnant Women

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A private member’s bill that would give a fetus legal rights would not only endanger abortion rights, but would hurt pregnant women trying to have a baby, according to the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, a national pro-choice group.

Bill C-484, “The Unborn Victims of Violence Act,” would allow charges to be laid in the death of a fetus if the pregnant woman is a victim of a crime. It was introduced in Parliament on Wednesday by Conservative MP Ken Epp.

or more information on the harms of a “fetal homicide” law, please see ARCC’s Position Paper.

Financial Security for Women Seniors in Canada

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This document is the most recent in a series of reports on the poverty of women in Canada published by CASW to provide knowledge, increase awareness, and promote social justice. This report specifically examines the income disparity of senior women as a result of Canada’s public and private retirement income policies.  Read the Executive Summary. Read the report in its entirety please visit the Members’ Site of the CASW website or order a copy of the report by contacting CASW.

Gender influences amount of ICU care

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Among patients 50 years or older, women appear less likely than men to be admitted to an ICU and to receive selected life-supporting treatments and more likely than men to die after critical illness. Differences in presentation of critical illness, decision-making or unmeasured confounding factors may contribute to these findings. Read this article and others on the CMAJ website.

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