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The good, bad, and ugly of OHIP-covered mental-health care
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Dec 12, 2019
Examining the disparity of access to care between big cities and less-populated areas.

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Good morning, Ontario.

Here's what we're following

Avoidable deaths more likely in Ontario’s poorest communities

Researchers at the non-profit institute ICES found that between 1993 and 2014, 124,000 avoidable deaths occurred in Ontario’s poorest neighbourhoods, compared to 66,000 in the wealthiest areas. “This was even after we considered age, gender and chronic diseases so this is a really concerning finding overall,” Austin Zygmunt, an Ottawa-based family doctor and lead author of the study, told the Canadian Press. Examples of preventable deaths include those caused by smoking or from a lack of timely medical care.


Chief coroner reviewing 132 cases in which doctors investigated deaths of former patients

Ontario’s chief coroner is reviewing 132 instances in which doctors investigated the deaths of people who had been their own patients within five years of their demise, the CBC reports. "These cases are concerning because there is a risk that the truth about a death will not come to light if the physician's treatment decisions while the patient was alive could have contributed to the patient's death," Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk wrote in her annual report last week. The doctors in question have training in conducting death investigations. They don’t perform autopsies but decide whether to order one.


Province appoints its first advocate for community opportunities

Author and community organizer Jamil Jivani will serve as a special adviser to Premier Doug Ford and will be responsible for creating “lines of communication between communities and the government to empower community members and enable them to increase their participation in government decision making.” Jivani told the Toronto Star he met with Ford in August to discuss what government could do to help marginalized communities. Ford ultimately offered him the newly created position of advocate for community opportunities. Last year, Jivani appeared on The Agenda to discuss his book, Why Young Men: Rage, Race and the Crisis of Identity.



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The Agenda: Education matters

Mounting pressure for the province and teachers’ unions to reach a contract deal only adds to the existing sense of urgency for better student outcomes, particularly in math. The Agenda discusses ideas for how to achieve this with Annie Kidder, executive director of People for Education; Karen Robson, associate professor at McMaster University; and Globe and Mail education reporter Caroline Alphonso.


Food Unwrapped: Stout, Watercress, Mustard

What makes English mustard spicy and the Dijon variety relatively cool? This and other questions are answered as Kate Quilton investigates the genealogy of this ultimate superfood. Meanwhile, Jimmy Doherty finds out what gives stout its smooth texture.




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The good, the bad, and the ugly of OHIP-covered care

In the second instalment of his series about mental health in Ontario, journalist Matt Gurney examines the disparity of access to care between big cities and less-populated areas. “The system is massively skewed by geographical constraints,” he writes. “A study in 2009, for example, found that, while there were 63 psychiatrists per 100,000 residents in the Toronto region, some remote parts of the province had barely four per 100,000 — a whopping fifteenfold difference.”


Tonight on TVO


7 p.m. — Arctic Secrets: Devon Island

Nunavut’s Devon Island is the largest uninhabited island in the world — and with good reason. With sub-zero temperatures for nine months of the year and a rainfall rate that could put the Gobi Desert to shame, its icy landscape is so barren that NASA uses it to simulate conditions on Mars. Explore a land where only the most experienced Inuit hunters dare set foot.


8 p.m. — The Agenda: Superstars of a bygone era

They may not have seemed to have much in common, but Edith Piaf and Marlene Dietrich were both deeply emotional and complex women who thrilled millions with their talent, even when their personal lives were in turmoil. Actresses Louise Pitre and Jayne Lewis portray these two giants in Piaf/Dietrich, a musical biography on stage at Toronto’s CAA Theatre until early January. They talk to Steve Paikin about what the careers of these two unforgettable stars mean to them.



From the archive


January 2001 — A trip to the zoo

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How do animals in Canadian zoos brave our harsh winters? Veterinarian Bill Rapley and animal handler Dan Pearson showcase an assortment of the cold weather-tolerant animals living in the Toronto Zoo, including a young peregrine falcon, a great horned owl, and a small marsupial called a sugar glider.

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