Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Canada has very few geriatricians: 260, who is addressing dementia?

This is not a surprise to me. I wrote about it in my book, published in 2008. Unfortunately, transforming a national policy into a provincial and territorially-driven healthcare system is another story. Geriatricians are paid much lower on the salary scale than other specialists, yet their specialty requires much in the way of understanding the biopsychosocial aspects of old age.

What people need to remember is that dementia is a symptom of various diseases, and the Alzheimer's Disease is only one of them. Individual care depends on the root cause and drives the treatment options.

From a TVO episode:
Alzheimer's and Dementia: A New Prescription
It's a question researchers, medical experts and governments are asking the world over: How do we tackle Alzheimer's and dementia? With an estimated 44.4 million people living with dementia worldwide, this number is forecasted to increase to over 135 million by 2050. How will patients, their caregivers and health care systems cope? As global entities such as the OECD meet in Toronto to start addressing these issues, we bring the international experts to The Agenda.

Canada needs a national dementia strategy

By 2031, an estimated 1.4 million Canadians will be suffering from dementia. To provide these patients quality care, and to keep wait times under control, we need a national strategy.

Just a few months ago as a panelist at a conference on dementia, I made front-page news by stating the obvious. I said the reason there is a nine-month waiting time in this country for a hip replacement is because there are so many patients with dementia taking up acute-care hospital beds.

Addressing Dementia: the OECD Response

Dementia is a devastating condition for the people affected, their family and friends, and for health systems. OECD has been working to address this challenge. We work on how health systems need to be adapted to address the dementia challenge; we look at ways to harness information technologies and big data to improve the prevention and treatment of the disease; and we examine the innovation model to mobilise the research and technology needed to address dementia. Through its global reach and ability to bring together government and non-government perspectives, OECD is in a unique position to face up to the challenge.
Find out more about OECD work on dementia in our brochure .

Addressing dementia research and care: Can big data help?

Toronto, 15 September 2014
In cooperation with the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) and the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI), the OECD is hosting an event exploring the role that big data can play in improving dementia research and care.
Big data – tapping into the huge volumes of information that are generated by our increasingly computerised health and care systems – has the potential to accelerate the evaluation of treatments and care models, and generate insights into system performance. This workshop will explore how this can be applied to dementia and identify next steps in unlocking this potential and advancing data-driven innovation.

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