The Nordic way
Re Women in the work force, then and now (Oct. 1): It’s no surprise that more women in Nordic countries participate in the work force – these countries have superior parental-leave benefits, including paid paternity leaves reserved for new fathers that aren’t transferable to the mothers. When men take paternity leave, they learn how to be co-parents rather than secondary helpers and they learn to take responsibility for household duties. This equality for parenting and domestic responsibilities allows women to be more engaged in the work force. Simply, they don’t burn out from shouldering more of the parenting and domestic responsibilities while also working. Canada should adopt similar parental-leave policies to help transform our culture from one in which men are still the primary breadwinners and women the primary caregivers to one in which there is equality at home and in the work force. Sheila Judd, Toronto
Re Blind spot (ROB Magazine, October edition): I read with concern the recent article about the state of connected digital health. For millions of Ontario patients, there is an integrated electronic health record in place today that connects hospitals, doctors, nurses, community and long-term care across the province to provincial data repositories (labs, diagnostic images, hospital reports and more), anchored by solid security and privacy protocols. Your article suggests patients are without the benefit of an interoperable system that shares data, and this is simply not true.
If a patient goes to any hospital in the province, their health-care team can review lab results, diagnostic images such as x-rays, medications (for 2.2 million seniors) and reports from other hospitals 24/7. This speeds up diagnosis and treatment for patients, avoids unnecessary tests and, in some cases, admittance to hospital. About 100,000 health-care providers across the province currently access this important patient data. At many hospitals, they also can look at allergy information, clinical notes and discharge summaries.
There is, of course, always more to do. When we started this process, Ontario had thousands of unconnected IT health systems and billions of paper files locked up in cabinets. Today, we are changing the way patient information is stored, integrated and informs decisions. Doctors, nurses and others working in a patients’ circle of care have born witness to the power of the digital health record. You can view their testimonials on our website.
Raymond Hession, chair, eHealth Ontario
Flights of fancy
Re An Air Miles explanation (Sept. 28): Bryan Pearson’s “explanation” confirms one thing; those expiring Air Miles will shift “money” from collectors to Air Miles’ corporate profit. I have collected Air Miles from the program’s inception, accelerating the accumulation with a premium credit card (with its $100-a-year fee). Initially, convenient flights were available and enjoyed. That changed after they announced the expiry of miles. On five occasions in the past three years, the only Air Miles flights available were 24-hour-plus, three-flight trips for a journey available from the same airline and taking eight hours. Unacceptable.
By not making reasonable flights available, Air Miles was already defaulting on its promise. Not satisfied, soon they will reward themselves further by grabbing back the Air Miles already paid for through credit cards and purchases. Shame. They don’t have a refund policy, but I’d like my “money” back.
Ted Ledingham, Nepean, Ont.Report Typo/Error
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