Video B-Roll Via Satellite - Health Council of Canada to release 3rd annual report to Canadians

    TORONTO, Jan. 31 /CNW/ - The following B-Roll is available at the listed
times and co-ordinates:

    For television, the news conference will be broadcast live, and B-Roll
will be provided.

    Satellite Coordinates:
        DATE OF FEED:     Thursday, February 1
        TIME OF FEED:     11:00 AM ET - Live News Conference followed
                          immediately by b-roll (transmission available
                          starting at 10:00 a.m.)
                          2:00 PM ET - B-Roll rebroadcast
        CO-ORDINATES:     AMC 2/K @ 85.0 West, Transponder: K8
                          D/Link: 11860 GHz Horizontal
                          Audios: 6.2 / 6.8 MHz
                          Analog Transmission.
        TOC               Teleantenna TX 1

    PATHFIRE Digital Media Gateway Coordinates:
        B-Roll will be available on:
        Video News Provider "A", CNW Group tab
                       CTV users can search by headline


    The report, entitled Health Care Renewal in Canada: Measuring Up?, will
highlight achievements and shortcomings in delivering on commitments from the
2003 and 2004 health care agreements. Tables comparing progress by province
and territory will be included, as well as a companion document examining
trends in Canadian perceptions of the health care system from 2002 to 2006.


    1)  2 minute VNR
    2)  12 minutes of B-ROLL - including innovation story on Saskatchewan
Aboriginal Nursing Program, Inv & B-ROLL, and Issue based story on lack of
drug coverage in Atlantic Canada - B-ROLL and Inv. With 2 Doctors. Plus extra
interview clips.

    CUES: 1) 2:35 VNR ENG, 3:04 VNR FRENCH 4:00 Halifax Story; 3:09
Saskatchewan 5:00 B-ROLL (includes 2:30 extra clips), 2:35 VNR ENG, 3:04 VNR
FRENCH, 2:35 VNR ENG repeat VNR ENG.

    SUMMARY: Satellite feed will run English and French back-to-back,
followed by B-Roll.

    CLIPS: HCC Interim Chair, Jeanne Besner, RN, PhD, Professor Stuart
Soroka, McGill University author of new report on Canadian attitudes towards
health care, and Dr. Charlyn Black, Director, Centre for Health Services and
Policy Research, UBC

    B-ROLL: 12 minutes of B-ROLL - including innovation story on Saskatchewan
Aboriginal Nursing Program, Inv & B-ROLL, and Issue based story on lack of
drug coverage in Atlantic Canada- Inv. With patient and 2 Doctors, various
health care footage.

    RUNNING TIME: 2:40


    While governments are making gains - and making good - on some
commitments to renew health care, Canadians aren't getting good enough
information to measure how well investments are paying off.
    That's the message the Health Council of Canada drives home in its 3rd
annual report to Canadians. Health Care Renewal in Canada: Measuring Up? was
released today in Toronto.

    Jeanne Besner, RN, PhD, Interim Chair, Health Council of Canada

    While there are many instances of progress and innovation, the picture of
health care renewal in Canada remains unclear. In too many cases, the
information is incomplete, inconsistent, or simply unavailable. With billions
of dollars being spent on this historic undertaking, Canadians expect more.


    Here's what the Council CAN tell you:
    Governments are working on wait times, with some good results. Enrolments
in medical and nursing schools are up everywhere, and health care providers
are learning and training together now more than ever - and that's good news
for patients. And they are getting on board - across the board - with healthy
living strategies. However, governments aren't meeting many of their reporting
commitments -- no home care report, no comparable health indicators, no
consistency in what and how they measure.

    Jeanne Besner, RN, PhD, Interim Chair, Health Council of Canada

    All too often we have to rely more on anecdote than evidence. And in
important areas, like catastrophic drug coverage, health inequalities, and the
health status of Aboriginal peoples, we know we are missing the mark.


    Without a more detailed and transparent account of how - or whether -
historic investments are being effectively used to meet the goals set out in
health agreements, accountability is undermined - and with it, Canadians'
confidence in their health care system.

    Jeanne Besner, RN, PhD, Interim Chair, Health Council of Canada

    Canadians very clearly want to know what their governments are doing to
improve the system, how their money is being spent, and whether investments
are resulting in a healthier population.


    This view is supported by evidence in a new paper released today
commissioned by the Health Council on Canadian attitudes health care.

    Professor Stuart Soroka, McGill University

    We see accountability listed as one of the top concerns when we ask about
what Canadians think the health council should be doing and that reflects what
we see when we ask more general questions about health care as well,
accountability is a top concern.


    To that end, the Council is calling on governments, stakeholders, and the
policy and research communities to work together to improve the collection and
reporting of high quality data that is meaningful to Canadians.

    Jeanne Besner, RN, PhD, Interim Chair, Health Council of Canada

    In some cases, we know governments are measuring up; in other areas, we
know they're missing the mark. But too often, we just don't know, or we don't
know enough.

    Saskatchewan NEPS Program
    TEXT: This is just one of several innovative health care programs
    featured in this year's Health Council report.


    Saskatchewan's Aboriginal population is the fastest growing in the
province, projected to grow from 14% to 33% by 2020. The program at First
Nations University in association with University of Saskatchewan has created
a successful model for better serving the future health care needs of this
growing Aboriginal population.

    Jackie Nixon, Counsellor, First Nations University

    This program was established in order to educate Aboriginal nurses, who
originally come from the north, to become nurses and to be able to move back
to their home communities.

    Jackie Nixon, Counsellor,First Nations University

    When the nursing students are able to combine their western education in
nursing with their traditional knowledge, they take that back to their
communities and they are able to be of enormous help to everybody there.


    Today there are over 120 students enrolled in this 4-year RN program.
Valerie McLeod was one of the program's first graduating students - of the
original 7 graduates four are working in their home communities. Valerie is
currently working at the Victoria Hospital in Prince Albert where she is
getting acute care experience.

    Valerie McLeod RN, Graduate of NEPS Program

    When we have someone who's First nation, going in and talking to a First
Nations person or an Aboriginal person, it makes it so much better that you
can actually know how to take care of that person better than you possibly
thought you could.

    Jackie Nixon, Counsellor, First Nations University

    In a general way our population is most often a mature learner, uh...
female, over the age of 20, likely more than one child, and those children
most likely under 5. ... we have to make sure we have the supports in place
that fit them, ... that maybe the traditional university wouldn't have, like
the elders, like the public health nurse, the student success coordinator, all
there to support them uh... culturally, personally, and academically.

    Jackie Nixon, Counsellor, First Nations University

    I would definitely encourage other nursing programs in other provinces to
look at our model. And to start a specific program for educating Aboriginal
nurses. The Aboriginal population is increasing, and I think it's only fitting
that there is a representative number of Aboriginal workers to fit the
demographic of the province.

    Valerie McLeod RN, Graduate of NEPS Program

    I just feel that we do need the programs, And it's so important because
Canada does have ... a diverse range of Aboriginal people we just need to
learn how to work with them. And ... to teach them how to help themselves.

    Jackie Nixon, Counsellor, First Nations University

    Our graduates are getting recruited actually starting in the third year
of study, from the health regions in the North....when I look at our nursing
student population, how they're progressing, I would say it's definitely

    Valerie McLeod RN, Graduate of NEPS Program

    We just need to have more people to be able to take care of our own

    Issue Story: 3.5 million Canadians - including 600,000 in Atlantic
    Canada - have little or no drug coverage.


    Last fall the government released a progress report on the implementation
of a National Pharmaceuticals Strategy which includes options for coverage of
catastrophic drug costs. But to date, there has been no action on
implementation and no indication if the federal government will help cover the
costs in any province. Meanwhile, 3.5 million Canadians - including 600,000 in
Atlantic Canada - have little or no drug coverage.

    Dr. Blair O'Neill, Head of Cardiology QE2 Health Sciences Centre, Halifax

    Some of the challenges I face as a health care provider is the fact that
many individuals below the age of 65 have no health drug coverage. And when
patients come in with a heart attack at that age group, they come in perfectly
healthy but they go home on an average of 7 or 8 medications.
    These medications are very costly and it's very difficult for them to
afford them and they have to make some serious choices about whether or not
they can afford medications or food for their family.
    The challenge of a lack of catastrophic drug coverage ah presents
short-term problems, patients not being able to afford critical medications
resulting in bad outcomes immediately. But I think in the long term it also is
going to erode public confidence. We have baby boomers who are moving into the
prime years for heart attacks who don't realize that they don't have coverage
for their medications in this part of the country.
    The lack of catastrophic drug coverage does unfortunately affect the way
that I treat patients. I can think of a specific example recently of a patient
who could not afford a very important medication that it was necessary to take
after a stent was placed in their artery. Unfortunately it was a blood thinner
and the stent clotted and it resulted in a heart attack. Patients are making
these kinds of decisions day in and day out, making decisions about whether or
not they can afford medications and I think this is not right. Our system
should be there for patients when they need it and right now it isn't.

    Dr. Ehud Ur, Head of Endocrinology & Diabetes at the QE2 Health Science
Centre, Halifax

    If patients don't get those drug therapies because of lack of funds or
lack of resources to pay for those medications, then they end up developing
those complications and we have to pay for them when they develop a
complication because most of those complications relate to acute care in
    Today's lack of comprehensive coverage of drugs for people at need will
result in huge costs transferred down the line. If we don't pay a little
today, we'll pay an awful lot tomorrow.

For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Robert Stephens or Dena Fehir,
PR POST, (416) 777-0368

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