Health Minister stays out of the Legislature - except to vote on her Bill and then scoots out of town. Health Coalition advises new clinics not to set up shop

By Staff

May 10th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When it came time to finally pass Bill 60, Your Health Act, into law yesterday, Health Minister Sylvia Jones wasn’t in the chamber to answer questions about the bill her government spent months arguing would end the dysfunctional status quo that leaves Ontarians languishing on wait lists for basic surgeries and diagnostic tests.

Health Minister Sylvia Jones wasn’t in the chamber to answer questions about the bill her government spent months arguing would end the dysfunctional status quo that leaves Ontarians languishing on wait lists for basic surgeries and diagnostic tests.

Jones’ decision to duck questions — in favour of attending a federal funding announcement with Solicitor General Michael Kerzner, where she did not actually speak — prompted suggestions from opposition parties that the PC government wants to put the controversial bill behind them. Its opponents, meanwhile, are vowing to make sure that does not happen.

Jones returned to the house at the tail-end of question period, in time for the third reading vote and just in time to answer the very last question of the morning.

“Bill 60 will actually improve community and surgical centres in the province of Ontario. Why? Because we don’t want people having to wait an inordinate amount of time for their surgeries,” Jones insisted.

After voting on the bill, Jones was gone again, dodging questions from reporters at Queen’s Park.

She didn’t have time, the government said, because she was giving a keynote speech to the Federation of Northern Municipalities.

Opposition leaders suggested the minister’s manoeuvring indicates the government is not feeling as confident about the legislation as it has previously professed.

“After the vote today, even their applause was lukewarm,” noted NDP Leader Marit Stiles.

“I don’t think that this government is really interested in engaging with or responding today,” said Liberal Health critic Adil Shamji. “The minister of health’s conduct is extraordinarily emblematic of the conduct of this government as a whole.”

They are looking for more than 1 million referendum. votes – be one of them. This matters

A Bill 124 redux

Opponents say they will not let the PCs turn the page on the controversial legislation — echoing the way in which Bill 124 has dogged the government since its passage in 2019, before being struck down late last year.

“We will fight this legislation until the end, even if it means through to the next election, because this is a pivotal moment in Ontario’s history for its public health-care system,” said CUPE Ontario regional vice-president David Hurley during a press conference at Queen’s Park ahead of the final vote.

Ontario Health Coalition executive director Natalie Mehra said her group will start its pushback with a “formal complaint” to the federal government or possibly “legal action,” arguing the province is already violating the Canada Health Act by not preventing existing clinics from charging Ontarians illegal fees for OHIP-covered services — which the PCs deny is happening.

Mehra told Queen’s Park Today her organization may go to court to seek a writ of mandamus, which is an order requiring the government to perform a duty owed to the public. In this case, that would be enforcing the Canada Health Act’s provisions against charging people for medically necessary care.

The Mayor and the Minister at a meeting of the Ontario Big Mayors Group. Meed Ward is on the left with the Minister almost opposite her. Bonnie Crombie, Mayor of Mississauga (and the next Liberal leader if I have it right) is next to Marianne

The coalition and its allies are also organizing an unofficial “referendum” on Bill 60, with thousands of volunteers set to begin canvassing Ontarians across the province to cast a ballot answering the question: “Do you want our public hospital services to be privatized to for-profit hospitals and clinics?”

The effort will involve 1,000 voting stations collecting ballots on May 26 and 27. Organizers are aiming to get one million people to participate, a level of engagement they believe will make the poll too politically damaging to ignore.

“We have held tens of thousands of volunteers out in front of grocery stores, coffee shops, legions, union halls [and] faith-based organizations asking Ontarians to vote,” said Mehra. “If you are a private clinic owner in Ontario and think you’re going to set up shop here and charge OHIP and patients on top of that, you have another thing coming.”

Oppo warns investors not to set up shop
Opposition parties warned potential clinic owners and investors to save their money because the new system being put in place will not outlast the PC government.

NDP Leader Marit Stiles.

“It’s not over yet. We are going to continue this fight,” said Stiles, noting that provinces such as British Columbia and Quebec are already backing away from their own private clinic experiments due to the high cost of such clinics and their impact on the public system.

“I will say to those people who are thinking of investing in for-profit clinics: listen up, there’s going to be another government elected here in three years,” Stiles added.

“Is it a great investment? Probably not,” agreed Liberal Leader John Fraser.

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Pandemic declared over - but the virus is still out there.

By Staff

May 5th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The virus, often a variant of the original Covid19, is still with us. Booster shots are advised.

The World Health Organization said today that COVID-19 no longer qualifies as a global emergency it has been downgraded from a pandemic to an epidemic.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said today that “It’s with great hope that I declare COVID-19 over as a global health emergency”

It is more than a symbolic end to the devastating coronavirus pandemic that triggered once-unthinkable lockdowns, upended economies and killed millions of people worldwide.

The pandemic’s impact on society isn’t fully known yet; three years of being under a state of emergency had massive impacts on how we relate to one another. Do you notice how people deliberately stand apart from others – creating what came to be known is as social distancing?

That the U.N. health agency’s stated the emergency phase was over doesn’t mean , the pandemic has come to an end – there are still outbreaks in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

Refrigerated trailers had to be used to hold the bodies of Covid victims when funeral homes in the United States ran out of space.

WHO says thousands of people are still dying from the virus every week, and millions of others are suffering from debilitating, long-term effects.

“That does not mean COVID-19 is over as a global health threat,” said,Ghebreyesus; warning that new variants could yet emerge. He noted that while the official COVID-19 death toll was 7 million, the real figure was estimated to be at least 20 million.

Ghebreyesus said the pandemic had been on a downward trend for more than a year, acknowledging that most countries have already returned to life before COVID-19.

He bemoaned the damage that COVID-19 had done to the global community, saying the pandemic had shattered businesses, exacerbated political divisions, led to the spread of misinformation and plunged millions into poverty.

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Health Care Coalition wants to fill Public Gallery in Legislature protesting Ford government's hospital privatization bill

By Staff

May 5th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Natalie Mehra, Ontario Health Coalition executive director is advising anyone at all interested in what happens to the health and hospital service we have in Ontario that on Monday (May 8) the final vote on Bill 60, the Ford government’s hospital privatization bill will be held in the Ontario Legislature.

The coalition will be holding a press conference in the media studio at Queen’s Park at 9 a.m. at the invitation of the NDP. We are inviting members and supporters to come at 8:30 a.m. to get through security and attend the press conference.

Following the press conference we will be filling one of the galleries in the Ontario Legislature at 10 a.m.

The Opposition Parties will welcome us into the Legislature at 10 a.m. They will be demanding answers of the government regarding Bill 60 during Question Period (10:30 a.m. – noon).

Everyone who comes will be able to leave their things in an office at the Legislature that is pre-arranged.

The vote on Bill 60 will be at or around 1 p.m. People can stay for as much or little of these events as they wish. It would be great to have a significant presence in the Legislature on Monday.

Everyone who would like to come should send their full name in an email to ontariohealthcoalition@gmail.com by Friday (today) mid to late afternoon so that we can get the list to security so people can get in quickly. (You are, of course, able to go to the Public Galleries without pre-arrangement if you want.) Please note in the subject line: “Bill 60 Queen’s Park” so we can easily find your email!

This is an event that matters.

Related news articles:

What happens to the health and hospital service we have in Ontario

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Hospital wants to dump municipal representation on its Board

By Pepper Parr

May 3rd, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Most people probably do not know that the Joseph Brant Hospital is a non-profit corporation. You would’ realize that when you pay for parking over there.

There is an item in the agenda of the Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk & Accountability Standing Committee related to the governance of the hospital that recently completed a governance compliance review that proposed amendments to Joseph Brant Hospital Administrative By-laws one of which is to:

Approve the recommendation outlined in Appendix A to office of the city clerk report CL- 11-23, Briefing Note dated April 18, 2023 regarding a recent Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA) compliance exercise, and proposed amendments to Joseph Brant Hospital Administrative By-laws, one of which is to discontinue the Municipal Representative seat on the Joseph Hospital Board and adopt a practice of inviting the Joseph Brant Hospital Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer annually to a Council meeting to provide updates on the Hospital and its future directions.

Everything city Council does is expected to align with the Vision to Focus, which is the part of the Strategic Plan Council focuses on during its term of office.

The report presented to Council had the following two lines:

Alignment: Delete this line and the areas that do not apply.
Building more citizen engagement, community health and culture

The Hospital included Briefing notes on how and why they made the decision they made. The bulk of those notes are set out below. The full briefing note is available on the city web site.

A rendering of the hospital before the addition was completed. At that time the hospital was reaching out to the public for donations.

“As part of its By-law review, the OTF discussed the size and composition of the Board and independent Counsel recommended the Hospital contact the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) on best practices related to the role of municipal representatives on skills-based Boards.

“With regard to the composition of the Board, which currently includes an appointed position of a Municipal Representative as well as ex-officio (non-voting) positions as stipulated within the Public Hospitals Act (Regulation 965), the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) provided guidance that Hospitals have increasingly moved away from having ‘non-legislative’ positions on the Board as best practice to Boards that are resourced based on skills and to avoid any inherent or systemic conflicts that would arise from political appointees and special interest groups vis- a-vis the Board.

Eric Vandewall addressing a reception that was waiting for a provincial minister to show up and announce a large chunk of cash the province was handing over to the hospital.

“The OHA referenced the Guide to Good Governance which supports having a skills-based board as best practice. Further, with regards to ex-officio positions on the board from government or other such entities, the Board “should question why it has specific ex-officio positions and consider whether other actions might be more appropriate to maintain strong relationships”. The OHA noted in its Guide to Good Governance that “best practice in hospital governance is to recruit a skills-based board that is independent of any one interest group” and noted the inherent risk that ex-officio directors will have a greater potential for conflict.

He loves the hospital – does the hospital love him?

“More specifically, the OHA noted that “this is particularly evident where members of local government…feel a conflict between duty to the electorate and a duty to the hospital”. The OHA further noted that “it is important that a board be comprised of individuals with the skills, experience, qualities and diversity that are appropriate for the hospital’s mission, objectives and strategic directions”.

“The OHA had also confirmed that “the majority of Hospitals had some time ago shifted away from having Municipal, special interest groups and political appointees on Boards due to systemic conflicts.” This was done along with other considerations to ensure that these types of groups remain aligned with the hospital but not necessarily with a seat on the Board. The Board’s independent Counsel bolstered this view in the advice provided.

“Joseph Brant Hospital, as similar to other Ontario Hospitals, had historically had open memberships whereby members of the Community can purchase, for a nominal fee, a membership which would allow them to attend meetings and have a vote on hospital affairs.

“Over time, like most Ontario Hospitals, JBH became a closed membership whereby the Hospital Membership and the Board of Directors are the same. In his 2008 Annual Report, the Auditor General recognized “the challenging position in which ex-officio directors are placed when specific interests of the group they represent are in conflict with the hospital’s and the community’s best interest”. Once the Hospital moved away from open membership, some legacy ex-officio positions on the Board including the Hospital Foundation, the Hospital Auxiliary and Municipal Representative remained in the By- laws.

Interesting to note that the hospital met with the Mayor and ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna separately – six weeks apart.  Any idea why ?

The Board Chair, Randy Smallbone and Eric Vandewall President and CEO, met with Mayor Meed-Ward on February 3, 2023 to discuss discontinuation of the Municipal seat on the Hospital Board. On March 14, 2023, Board Chair Randy Smallbone and Eric Vandewall met Councilor Angelo Bentivegna to discuss discontinuation of the Municipal seat on the JBH Board.

Both Mayor Meed-Ward and Councillor Bentivegna appreciated the opportunity to hear from JBH in the regard, they understood the rationale and importance of best practices in governance, and both endorsed the hospital’s decision to proceed in this direction.

It was also agreed by both Mayor Meed-Ward and Councillor Bentivegna that based on the Board’s decision to update the Hospital By-law and discontinue the Municipal seat on the Board, that every effort will be made to ensure that the ongoing positive relationship between the Hospital and the City of Burlington continue.

Specifically, it was agreed that the City will invite the Hospital Board Chair and CEO on an annual basis to update Council on the hospital and its future directions. In addition, on a bi-annual basis, the Board Chair, Vice Chair and CEO will have a joint meeting with the Mayor and the Acting Deputy Mayor of Ceremonies and Emergencies to discuss any pertinent matters.

This is a story you might really want to comment on.

The Hospital is requesting a Motion of Endorsement from the City of the Burlington Council as follows:

THAT Council for the City of Burlington endorse the Joseph Brant Hospital Board of Directors decision to discontinue the Municipal Representative seat on the Hospital Board and THAT the Hospital commits to continuing its engagement and ongoing positive relationship with the City of Burlington.

Related news story:

Spectator tells the story about conditions at the hospital

Hospital CEO, Mayor and Councillor on the hospital board refuse to comment on what was a scathing report

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Getting a deeper understanding about the problems with the provincial health service

Making a Killing:
Everything you want to know about privatization of public hospitals
Wednesday May 3 at 7 p.m.

By Pepper Parr

May 2nd, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Ontario Health Coalition is made up of groups across the province that want to see change in the way the health system works.

Using the attention grabbing headline:
Making a Killing:
Everything you want to know about privatization of public hospitals

The Halton unit of the coalition is putting on a series of events to help people understand what they are doing and to answer questions.

They are holding a briefing with a question and answer session on the privatization of public hospitals including:

• what the real-world experience of privatization has been across Canada, in the United States and internationally; and,
• what the evidence shows regarding its impacts on quality of care, access to care for patients, health care costs, quality and deregulation for the workforce, and the foundational principle of equity in health care.

You can join and participate in any of the following ways:

• Zoom: To join the session via Zoom, please register here: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0tceuqrz4iE9OzYM9y_W43i75Ohbpw-S5n. Afterwards, you will receive an email with a link to join the meeting on Wednesday May 3rd at 7 pm.

• Facebook livestream: To join the session via Facebook livestream, go to https://www.facebook.com/ontariohealth on Wednesday May 3rd at 7PM to watch and participate in the livestream

• Twitter spaces: To join the session on Twitter through a Twitter Space, go to twitter.com/OntarioHealthC on Wednesday May 3rd at 7PM, and click on the purple twitter spaces icon that will be at the top of our profile once the meeting has started.

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Covid19 is still with us - data tells the story. Positivity testing rates are high

By Pepper Parr

April 15th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Despite the statements being made by a Halton District School Board candidate for trustee Covid19 is real and we are still seeing outbreaks.

Close friends who had travelled abroad and returned to Canada found that they tested positive a few days after their return. Theirs is a nasty case; both are seniors who were exceptionally careful – he wouldn’t shake hands – fist bump was all he would do.

It is out there, it is air borne and masks are one of the ways people can protect themselves.

For people with existing medical issues Covid19 can lead to death.

The Halton Region Medical Health Officer publishes regular reports on what is happening in our community.

Here is some of the data being made public. A fuller picture can be found HERE. The data is updated daily

The number of hospital admissions is lower – but it is still a significant number.

The number of positive results from testing tells us that the virus is still being passed around – it is airborne – a mask is one way to prevent the virus from spreading.

Long term care facilities are major locations. The residents are trapped (too strong a word) where they live. The virus is brought into the buildings. These are older people with nowhere else to go.

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Two COVID-19 Outbreaks declared at Joseph Brant Hospital

By Staff

September 30th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

For those who thought it was over – try again.

Joseph Brant Hospital (JBH) declared two inpatient unit COVID-19 outbreaks. One in Unit 5 South 200 on September 27, after three patients tested positive for COVID-19.

A second outbreak was declared on Unit 6 North 400/500 on September 29, 2022 after two patients and one healthcare worker tested positive for COVID-19.

The outbreak on Unit 6 North 400/500 is independent from the outbreak on Unit 5 South 200. All appropriate precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of patients, Essential Care Partners (ECPs), staff and physicians.

Two outbreaks of Covid19 in different parts of the hospital

JBH’s Infection Prevention and Control team and Employee Health Services are ensuring all patients on the units, along with staff and physicians who have been or may have been exposed, are being contacted, monitored, tested and self-isolating as required in keeping with Public Health guidelines. Patients on the units are in isolation as of the declared date of the outbreaks and have been instructed when discharged, to continue to monitor for symptoms for the remaining 10 days.

A number of enhanced safety measures are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of our patients, staff and physicians. ECPs and visitors are not permitted to enter the units except under limited circumstances in consultation with the patient’s care team.

Patients can still connect with their loved ones by telephone and video – both telephone and WiFi are available at no cost. Patients and their loved ones can visit the hospital website for information on how to book a video visit: www.josephbranthospital.ca/en/patients-and-visitors/visiting-hours.asp

JBH is monitoring the situation closely and will continue to work closely with Halton Region Public Health to bring a safe end to the outbreaks as soon as possible. Patients or loved ones who have questions or concerns can contact a member of the JBH Patient Relations team at 905-632-3737 ext. 4949 or by email patientrelations@josephbranthospital.ca.

JBH continues to uphold a universal mandatory masking policy, in which every person is required to wear a hospital-provided mask before entering and while in hospital. Masks are available at each entrance door.

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Pickleball seems to be THE issue in ward 3

By Pepper Parr

August 30th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Wards 2, 4 and 5 have serious issues with public safety and coyotes that are actually scratching people.

In ward 3 life is idyllic, the issue in that part of the city is pickleball, a sport that has become very popular, especially with the senior set.

Part of a electronic conversation ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan had with some of his citizens went like this:

I had a good chat with Bozana, an ardent advocate for pickleball in the community, today and here are a few of the outcomes as well as some clarity on items.

Action Items:
1. We will NOT create / enforce a pickleball ban at the Brant Hills Tennis Courts. The lines are being removed but people can still play there casually and the net that is there will be left there.

2. Casual pickleball is also possible at the basketball nets/parking lot in the middle of the park

3. We will establish a local group of interested pickleball players that the ward Councillor can work with on future changes and to advocate for more pickleball opportunities in Brant Hills and the area.

4. We will, with this new group, consider future capital expenditures in Brant Hills and the area to have more pickleball that is not too close to neighbours.

Additional info:
5. Consultation on this change of use was insufficient and the city (and councillor aka me) commit to do better in the future

6. There are valid concerns from local residents as reinforced by the consultant’s report, including the early start and late finish times of some users

7. Everyone has a right to the peaceful enjoyment of their backyard and while local residents never complained about tennis, pickleball noise is different

8. Other mitigation options are not feasible unfortunately

9. Pickleball players have good reason to not be happy about having to go to Ireland Park for a formal outdoor court

Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan

10. Play time is available at the Brant Hills Community Centre

I hope this helps. I do want to recognize that communication and consultation could have been better.

If you’re interested in joining the local pickleball advocacy group please email ward3@burlington.ca.

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West Nile Virus returns to the Region

By Staff

August 6, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The 7th wave of Covid19 is reported to have peaked.

Monkey pox infections have increased

Rabid bats have been found in Oakville

West Nile virus has retuened

And it is blistering hot.

A batch of mosquitoes trapped this week in Oakville has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). This is the first batch of WNV positive mosquitoes for Halton this year.

Urban areas are more likely to have mosquitoes that carry WNV. The types of mosquitoes that transmit WNV to humans most commonly breed in urban areas such as bird baths, plant pots, old toys and tires that hold water.

Most individuals infected with WNV do not develop any symptoms while some may develop fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. The majority of these individuals will recover completely but a few of them can go on to develop severe illness affecting the central nervous system such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord). Individuals with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease and individuals over 50 years of age are at higher risk for severe disease.

Residents can take the following steps to protect themselves and their families from mosquitoes:

• Cover up when going outside between the hours of dusk and dawn (when most mosquitoes feed). Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants with tightly-woven fabric.
• Reduce mosquito breeding sites around your home by getting rid of all water-filled containers and objects, where possible. Change the water in bird baths at least once per week.
• Use an approved insect repellent, such as one containing DEET or Icaridin.
• Make sure your window and door screens are tight and without holes, cuts or other openings.

Locations of standing water sites that have had larvicide applied this year is available on the West Nile Virus page on halton.ca.

 

 

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Halton Region Public Health confirms rabies in a bat found in Oakville

By Staff

August 4th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Covid19, then Monkey Pox, then close to unbearable weather and now bats have been found in Oakville with rabies.

Just seeing one of these would case death by fright

Halton Region Public Health confirmed that a bat tested positive for rabies. The bat was found in the West Oakville neighbourhood, south of Speers Road and east of Fourth Line. This is the first confirmed case of animal rabies in Halton Region this year.

Rabies is a viral disease that causes severe damage to the brain and spinal cord and, if untreated before symptoms appear, can lead to death.
The virus is spread through the saliva of an infected animal such as a raccoon, skunk, bat, dog, fox, or other wild animal, usually through a bite or scratch. Rabies illness in humans can be prevented by the use of a rabies vaccine, which is extremely effective, but only if it is administered before symptoms occur.

Although rabies in bats is rare, bites from rabid bats have caused almost all human cases of rabies in Canada over the past several years. Bats have small, needle-like teeth, and their bites easily go undetected. If you have been bitten, scratched or exposed to bat saliva, wash any wounds thoroughly with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately.

It is not always possible to identify if a bat has rabies, however rabid bats may move slowly, lose the ability to fly, remain active during daylight hours or be unresponsive to loud noises. If you find a bat in your home, do not attempt to move it and contact your local Animal Control Services.

There are a number of ways you can protect your family and pets from rabies:

• Wash bite or scratch wounds from any animal with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately.
• Report all animal bites or scratches to Halton Region Public Health by calling 311.
• Warn your children to stay away from any wild, stray or aggressive animals.
• Do not touch, feed or move wildlife, including young, sick or injured animals.
• Avoid animals that are behaving strangely.
• Do not keep wild animals as pets.
• Do not touch dead or sick animals.
• If you find a stray animal, report it to your local Animal Control Services.
• Make sure your pet’s rabies vaccinations are up to date.
• Keep your pet on a leash when off your property.
• Have your pet seen by a veterinarian if it has come in contact with a bat or other wild animal.
• Animal-proof your home by filling any holes that could allow animals to enter.

 

 

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COVID-19 vaccines available for children under 5 starting July 28

By Staff

July 26th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

Second boosters also available for immunocompromised youth 12-17

Following Provincial direction, starting Thursday July 28, 2022, parents and guardians can book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment for their children aged six months to under five years through Halton’s online booking system.

Immunocompromised youth aged 12 to 17 can also book their second booster dose (fifth dose) if at least six months have passed since their first booster (fourth dose).

Appointments are available starting Thursday July 28 at Halton Region Paediatric Clinics in convenient locations across the region (no walk-ins for six months to under 5 years age group).

Residents should check Halton’s Vaccine Clinics webpage regularly as dates and locations may vary from week to week. Appointments are also available through the Provincial booking system, participating primary care providers and pharmacies.

Children aged six months to under five years will receive the Health Canada approved lower dose paediatric Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in a two dose series at a recommended eight weeks apart. For children who are moderately to severely immunocompromised, three doses are offered at four to eight weeks between each dose.

“The availability of a COVID-19 vaccine for Halton’s youngest residents is exciting news for Halton families,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health. “The lower dose paediatric Moderna vaccine has been through rigorous scientific reviews and is the safest way to gain protection from COVID-19 and its variants. I strongly recommend vaccinating young children to protect them and their families.”

Parents and guardians with questions are encouraged to speak with their health care provider or contact the COVID-19 Vaccine Consult Service offered through SickKids. Information on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine should be accessed from reliable and accurate resources. A list of resources can be found at halton.ca/COVIDvaccines4kids.

Important information & instructions

Starting the morning of Thursday, July 28, the following groups can book appointments for COVID-19 vaccination through Halton’s online booking system:

Parents/guardians of children aged six months to under five years of age can book first dose appointments for the lower dose Moderna paediatric vaccine. Appointments begin Thursday July 28 by appointment only (no walk-ins). Children must be six months of age at the time of the appointment.

Immunocompromised youth aged 12 to 17 can book their second booster dose (fifth dose) if at least six months have passed since their first booster (fourth dose). Use Halton’s online calculator to find out when you are eligible.

First and second doses for children five to 11 years of age are offered by appointment or walk-in at Halton’s Paediatric clinics. Note: Walk-in availability may vary and residents should check Halton’s website before visiting a clinic.

Appointments to receive the lower dose paediatric Moderna vaccine are also available through the Provincial booking system, and on a limited basis at participating primary care and paediatric offices, as well as at participating pharmacies and Indigenous-led vaccination clinics.

Residents who require assistance can call 311 to book their appointment. Please only call if you require immediate booking support or do not have internet access.

Residents requiring additional assistance, language supports or other accommodations at a community clinic can contact 311 prior to their appointment to arrange for supports.

Transportation services to and from appointments are available, free of charge, for those who require it and parking is free at all clinic locations.

To prepare for an appointment:

complete the COVID-19 self-assessment before arriving at the clinic;

bring your child’s health card;

wear a mask (children 2 years of age and under are not required to wear a mask);

for children attending a clinic with an adult who is not their parent or guardian, bring the completed informed consent form; and

learn more about how to prepare for vaccination by exploring the fun activities from the Halton Heroes.

To learn more please visit halton.ca/COVIDvaccines4kids.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Health Services when you Travel Abroad - How do you find Reliable Practitioners?

By  Vlad Mudrova

July 20th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Organizing medical treatment abroad
Every year, millions of people travel outside their native country to receive medical services. Now it has become really simple: just visit the Booking Health website, choose a disease and a treatment method, see the list of the best clinics in the world, compare prices and make an appointment with the chosen specialist. The company’s employees will help you to make the right choice and fully organize your trip.

Dr Marion Derasse at the Pneumology Department at . The Europe Hospitals

Medical services abroad
In developed countries, medicine is developing very rapidly. It receives generous funding, so clinics buy state-of-the-art equipment, poach the best doctors from around the world, conduct many research projects, develop increasingly effective drugs, procedures and operations.

In countries with weak economies, however, medicine is stuck at the level of the twentieth century. Doctors still perform traumatic operations and use unsafe drugs and outdated techniques. As a result, the diseases that modern medicine has learned to cope with still claim the lives of millions of people.

If your native country does not offer the highest level of medicine, there is no necessity to be treated at your place of residence. You can get on a plane and go to another country. Just a couple of hours, and you will be in one of the best clinics in the world! You don’t even have to solve organizational issues on your own because this will be done by Booking Health, a certified medical tourism provider.

How to make your treatment appointment through the Booking Health website?

Among the clinics recommended in the past is the Academic Hospital Garmisch-Partenkirchen where Ekaterina K., Georgia, Prof. Dr. med. Hans-Dieter Allescher practice.

You better start by choosing a clinic. You can do this on the Booking Health website. The service is very convenient: enter a disease in the search bar, select a treatment method, and you will receive a list of clinics where it is used. You can also select the desired country and city, and specify the patient’s age (adult or child), if necessary. The list of hospitals can be sorted by price, rating, reviews, and the nearest free admission date.
The service itself will select the recommended clinics with the optimal ratio of cost and quality of medical services for you. If you want to be treated in the best hospital only, and prices are not of particular importance to you, select the option “TOP clinics” in the drop-down list.

Can’t make a choice? Please leave your request on our website. The Booking Health specialists will contact you and advise you on treatment abroad.

We have all the statistics on clinics, so we know exactly where and what disease is best treated.

How to travel abroad?
Previously, the organization of treatment abroad presented serious difficulties: the choice of a clinic, communication with the administration, medical documents, translation, visa, hotel, air tickets, language barrier, the search for an interpreter abroad and many other problems snowballed on a person who, moreover, is not in the best state of health.

Everything is much easier today. If you make your treatment appointment through the Booking Health service, the company’s employees will fully organize your trip. As a result, you can focus on your health, not worry about anything, and save a lot of nerves, effort, time and money.

The original price will definitely not increase for you, even if additional medical procedures are required.

When you make an appointment through Booking Health, the diagnosis of diseases and treatment abroad become cheaper. Prices are reduced due to the lack of additional fees for international patients. In addition, you will receive an insurance that will cover unexpected expenses up to 200,000 EUR.

This means that the original price will definitely not increase for you, even if additional medical procedures are required.

Take full advantage of medical tourism with Booking Health, and your treatment abroad will become easier, faster and cheaper.

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Resident has concerns over spread of Covid19 at Seniors' Centre

By Pepper Parr

July 13th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It is still out there – amongst us.

We behave as if it isn’t – it is.

Precious little in the way of notices and regular updates from the Regional Medical Officer of Health

A Gazette reader passed along a email conversation she had with a friend.

Some background:

Are the seniors getting the attention they need at the Seniors” Centre? Is the equipment being properly wiped down after use?

A friend who is an instructor at the Burlington Seniors Centre.  She tested positive for Covid on Sunday.  I told her she had to get in touch with staff to let them know as she had taught classes on Wednesday and Friday (16 people and 30 people).  She also told me that the instructor after her shares a microphone with her (the one that goes around the head and has a mouth piece to talk into and this instructor never cleans off the mouthpiece).

I told the friend that staff needed to inform her as well as all of her participants. My friend sent an email on Sunday No mention of whether or not they would contact the seniors who had been exposed.

My friend indicated that there was very little being done in the building with regard to wiping down chairs or going above and beyond cleaning the centre properly.

I emailed Shawna (she is the liaison between council and the Burlington Seniors Advisory Committee), Lisa as the Centre is in Ward 2 and the Office of the Mayor.  I had also messaged Shawna through Facebook asking her to look at her email.  She notified Mandy Kerr, who is in charge of the Centre, Denise Beard, and Chris Glenn. Have not heard back from the 2 other recipients.

My concern is that the city will not inform these seniors.

Here is what we got from the Gazette reader:

“  I tested positive for Covid on Monday.  Sunday evening I was not feeling great.  Had a really scratchy and sore throat, runny nose and post nasal drip that resulted in some coughing.  Yesterday, Monday, I had the most horrendous headache and no OTC medication worked. Terrible nausea and total exhaustion, but could not sleep. Any one who tells you covid is like a cold has no idea what they are talking about.

“Called my physician who will call me this morning about getting Pfizer- Paxlovid which is medication given to try to reduce ending up in the hospital.

“I was so careful.  Saw very few people.  I let my guard down about 10 days ago and visited a friend outdoors with no mask…..won’t do that again.”

Covid19 is still with us.  It seems to be targeting older people – given that Burlington has more older people than any other municipality in the Region one would like to believe that extra precautions and vigilance would be exercised – especially at those locations where seniors tend to congregate.

 

 

 

 

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Libraries open during current heat wave

By Staff

June 16th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

At 2:52 this afternoon the city released a statement advising the public that Cooling Centres Open –

A heat warning is in effect. Residents can stay cool at all open Burlington Public Library branches.

There was no mention as to how long the hear warning was to be in effect.

Central Branch

2331 New St.
905-639-3611

Aldershot Branch

550 Plains Rd. E.
905-333-9995

Alton Branch

3040 Tim Dobbie Dr.
905-634-3686

Brant Hills Branch

2255 Brant St.
905-335-2209

Kilbride Branch

6611 Panton St. Kilbride
905-335-4011

New Appleby Branch

676 Appleby Line
905-639-6373

Tansley Woods Branch

1996 Itabashi Way
905-336-5583

 

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A totally different use for donated equipment at Burloak Park

By Staff

June 16th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

 

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward opening the section of the park with the equipment more than a year ago.

A number of years ago the Burlington Seniors Community paid for the installation of specialized exercise equipment that was set up in the east end of Burloak Waterfront Park, Lakeshore Rd. at Hampton Heath,

The specialized Exercise Equipment is being used as a pilot location by Passion for Parkinson’s Foundation for their exercise program to help Parkinson patients.  Tomorrow, Thursday at 1:30 is the last of their 4 week pilot project at this location.

We feel that it’s important for the general public, rehabilitation professionals and seniors to be aware of the benefits this equipment can be and that it’s available free to use 24/7 at this wonderful picturesque location.

If you know of any families dealing with Parkinson’s – get in touch with the Foundation – they are there to help – and they do make a difference.  Reach out to Chair -Tamara 416-230-3215

Little did the Burlington Seniors Community know when they paid for the equipment that it would be put to this kind of use.

Good things do happen.

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Halton Region Public Health confirms first case of monkeypox

By Staff

June 8, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Halton Region Public Health has confirmed Halton’s first reported case of monkeypox virus. The individual is currently isolating at home and all contacts have been notified by Halton Region Public Health.

“While most people infected with monkeypox will have mild symptoms, some people such as children, pregnant women and those with immunodeficiencies are at higher risk for severe disease,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health.

An example of monkeypox

“If you have symptoms of monkeypox, it is important to stay home and call your doctor to be assessed. When seeking medical care you should wear a high quality medical mask and cover up all lesions.”

Monkeypox is a disease caused by the monkeypox virus. Symptoms of monkeypox typically include

fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes, low energy, muscle aches and skin rash or lesions.

The rash usually begins within one to three days of the start of a fever. Lesions can be flat or slightly raised, filled with clear or yellowish fluid, and can then crust, dry up and fall off, much like chickenpox.

The number of lesions on one person can range from a few to several thousand. The rash tends to be concentrated on the face, palms of the hands and soles of the feet.

Symptoms can start within five to 21 days after exposure to monkeypox, but usually appear in six to 13 days. Symptoms last between two to four weeks and go away on their own without treatment. A person infected with monkeypox can be contagious five days prior to the onset of rash until the rash has cleared and new skin has formed after a few weeks.

The virus can spread from person-to-person by respiratory secretions, direct contact with skin lesions, and/or contact with materials contaminated with the virus (for example, bedding, clothing).

The virus enters the body through broken skin, the respiratory tract or mucous membranes (for example, mouth, nose, eyes). Transmission through respiratory secretions requires prolonged face to face contact with close proximity to an infected person.

Halton Region Public Health continues to monitor the situation, investigate suspected and confirmed cases and complete contact tracing. For more information on the virus, visit Halton Region’s monkeypox webpage.

 

 

 

 

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How Not to Get Mad at Loved Ones: 6 Ways to Manage Emotions

By Kate Brown

April 28th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Everyone experiences negative emotions from time to time. You may have been taught as a child to suppress them, but it’s natural to be angry. The main thing is not to let your feelings become the reason for quarrels with other people. You can learn to control anger by understanding what causes it and expressing it in healthier ways.

Imagine the situation: you boil when the boss asks you to do extra work. Perhaps it’s not the first time it’s happened because another employee has again failed to complete his duties on time. You’re fed up and feel like you’re about to explode. Then you gather your coworkers and tell them what you think of them. Gradually your anger fades and you feel better, but you realize from the surprised looks on the faces of those around you that this was not the best way to deal with your emotions.

Usually the cause of anger is an underlying problem. It’s possible that you’re tired of doing everything for everyone at work and it’s high time you built personal boundaries. You no longer want to take on the responsibilities of colleagues who are not up to the task. Anger and quarrels will not help change the situation, it’s much more productive to learn to express emotions in other ways.

How to Control Anger
There are several ways to control anger. By following the simple instructions on this list, you can activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which means you can calm down and relax. You’ll cope with anxiety and stress, your mood will improve, and your blood pressure will return to normal. Here’s what will help you not snap when you’re experiencing strong negative emotions.

Take a Break
Take time out and go for a short walk. This will allow you to reflect for a while before reacting to events emotionally. Go outside, feel the warmth of the sun, listen to the leaves rustling in the wind. Focus your attention on the world around you. Forget about the most pleasurable things, like gambling at a Canadian casino online or your favorite movie you’ve watched recently. This will activate your frontal cortex, and strong negative emotions will subside.

Awareness or Short Meditation
Close your eyes, slow your breathing, and allow yourself to calm down, relaxing your whole body. Take your mind to a place where you once felt happy. It could be the seashore, the mountains, or the arms of a loved one.

Writing a journal is an opportunity to put your feelings down on paper – you’ll be surprised how you feel when you go back and read them later.

Write a Diary
When you are angry, write an uncensored letter to the person who triggered your negative emotion. You can do this on paper or in your smartphone notes. Afterwards, reread the letter and try to figure out what experiences caused you to defend yourself through anger. Perhaps you feel humiliated or you are frightened by uncertainty. There is no need to send the letter to the addressee; it’s better to tear up the sheet or erase what you have written. This kind of practice helps you to structure your thoughts, find the true causes of your emotions, and cope with stress.

Deep Breathing
This method of anger management seems too simple, but it really works. The key is to start using it. If you are boiling over, but you cannot leave the room and need to continue talking to the person who provoked the negative emotion in you, turn away to breathe and count to ten. During this time, you will be able to determine the cause of your anger and outline a plan of action.

Exercise
If you are overcome by anger, do some simple exercises or swim in the pool. Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel better. It’s impossible to leave a workout with the same level of stress that you came to class with. Your anxiety level will decrease, making it easier for you to make informed decisions.

Anti-stress Accessories
The easiest and most affordable of these is a wrist expander. Squeeze and unclench the exercises in the palms of your hands. Monotonous actions will help to cope with stress and relax. Bonus – strong hands and excellent grip, the main thing – do not forget to change hands periodically. “I-affirmations.”

If you feel yourself boiling over, directly (but calmly) tell the person you’re talking to what you think about what’s going on. Use “I-affirmations” and don’t get personal. For example, you might say to your boss, “I’m puzzled by what you said.” My part of the project was done yesterday.” Such communication will provide new information and allow your boss to see the situation from a new perspective.

Speaking calmly and directly – takes the heat out of a conversation

Regardless of which way you choose to deal with your emotions, it’s important to identify the cause of your anger and recognize the difference between healthy and chronic stress. Understanding what makes you angry will help you deal with future outbursts of anger. If your anger is related to the other person’s actions, let them know how and why their actions affect you. The conversation should begin in a calm atmosphere – after you can pull yourself together. Together with the person, you are talking to, come up with a plan for how to communicate in the future.

Take time to get to know yourself better and develop emotional intelligence. If you learn to manage your emotions and stop snapping at others, you can strengthen communication and make your relationship healthier.

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There are solid reasons to be concerned about the Covid19 testing the government is not doing

By Staff

April 8th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Beachway water treatment plant in Burlington is the largest in the Region

The Covid19 infection numbers for the province are not encouraging – infection reports are climbing and the number of children not in school is alarming.

The Boards of Education don’t have any central reporting – what we are hearing from readers is that – a lot of kids are not in class.

With province wide reporting gone for now municipalities are relying on waste water testing.

While the numbers are not high – the trend is in the wrong direction

 

Location of the waste water treatment plans where testing is done. The test results are rising in every location

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Changing the way people view what has been a taboo subject - two women from Burlington appear to have made it happen

By Pepper Parr

April 5th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

How does change come about?

What makes people decide they want to change something that they think could be better.

Olivia Netto

Olivia Netto and Inman Nemar were both students at Nelson high school out riding their bikes and a situation arose that had them talking about those occasions when you really need a product there is nothing at hand.

The product in this instance was feminine personal hygiene products – a taboo for many people and something that young men just don’t know all that much about and are not comfortable asking questions either.  But for Olivia Netto and Inman Nemar it was a serious subject and they decided they wanted to try and bring about a change:  Getting free mental products in as many public locations as possible.

“Over the course of the past few years, we’ve noticed a lack of accessibility to feminine hygiene products both within the community and at schools. Our mission is to create a donation-based drive to cater to those in need. At school, in the workplace and in Burlington”, said Inman.

They took the view that offering free menstrual hygiene products in public washrooms is now considered as essential to the community as offering toilet paper, soap and paper towels.

Inman Nemar

Providing menstrual hygiene products in each of the public washrooms in the facility also provides a more inclusive approach to support the needs of transgender and non-binary individuals.

When they decided to try and involve the city they got a very good response.

Their focus was on Burlington – given the success they have had – they have their eyes on the Region, then the province and – why not the whole country.

They researched, they asked questions and they put together a presentation that went before city council.

They wanted the city to consider a pilot program

Olivia is studying Industrial design at Carlton University and Inman is studying Life Sciences at McMaster.

Asked how they can monitor the distribution and the take up Oliva said: “We have scouts out there.”

Why the apple? That’s something they will have to tell you. What they really want to talk about is their Pink Project.

There initiative is called the Pink Project; it was enthusiastically taken up by council – they approved the project as a pilot that will be in place until the end of the year.

Public response so far has been positive

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Covid19 outbreak at hospital declared over

By Staff

April 5th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Joseph Brant Hospital’s COVID-19 outbreak has been declared over in the Labour & Delivery area of Unit 2 North 600.

The outbreak was declared on March 25, 2022. In total, three healthcare workers contracted COVID-19. All appropriate actions were taken to ensure the safety of our patients, staff and physicians.

We thank our staff whose expertise and teamwork brought this outbreak to a close, and all our patients and their Essential Care Partners for their patience and understanding. Our thoughts are with those whose wellbeing may have been impacted during this outbreak.

Joseph Brant Hospital remains vigilant in following the Infection Prevention and Control safety measures in place to protect our patients, our staff and our physicians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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