Tag archives

health benefits

Human Error to Blame for OR Deaths

I don’t normally like to reference the newspaper for any sort of health information, but I came across this article last weekend and decided to make an exception.

Based on figures from a national adverse events survey, it is estimated that up to 920 people die in BC each year from preventable human mistakes in surgery. And that is only based on reported adverse events. How many mistakes are not reported, or blamed on other issues (patient’s poor health, it was a risky surgery etc.).

This article highlights a changing tide in the public. More and more patients are starting to question the safety of hospital and surgical procedures that are performed everyday. They are looking to take a more proactive approach in their own safety in health care. Recently, the first “Empowered Patient Conference” was held in BC and was a rousing success.

In my opinion, hospital care and/or surgery is an important and valuable tool for those who need it. We are lucky in Canada to have such an excellent critical and urgent care system. However, many people head in that direction much sooner than is needed. People need to start looking at all their options and choose the least risky/invasive therapy first. I don’t think its too dramatic to say that your life may depend on it.

Vancouver Sun Medical Deaths July 01 2010

Dr. Debbie Wright is a practicing Courtenay Chiropractor.

Sad Local Health Story

I was dismayed to learn a week ago that a military-style raid had been conducted by Health Canada and the College of Pharmacists on our local Marigold Pharmacy.  All compliance issues aside, I don’t believe that this had to go down the way it did. Marigold provides a unique service to the community, and I wish them a speedy re-opening!  You can read Marigold Pharmacy’s blog here for an account of what happened:


Vitamin Water? No Thanks.

Thanks to Dr. Kinsler for reminding me that I haven’t yet ranted about this inane product.

About 6 months ago a sales rep came around to our office and dropped off 2 massive cases of a brand of vitamin water. We usually carry some bottles of water for patients since we don’t have room for a water cooler in our waiting room (some people will actually look at us with scorn if we offer them tap water, even though Vancouver tap water continually beats bottled water on testing). We figured we’d hit the jackpot and didn’t have to shop for a while.

Then I read the label. The amount of sugar is staggering, and even though it makes reference to fruit juice in the name of the product, there is nothing of the sort inside. What ever happened to getting your vitamins in your food? What ever happened to being happy with simple water to drink?

This is just another example of misleading marketing to latch onto the health and wellness craze. You can read Rochester Chiro’s blog post to find out more about the class action lawsuit that is currently being filed against one brand of this product. Just goes to show you when it comes to health, don’t believe everything you read (especially if its advertising!).

Dr. Debbie Wright is a practicing Comox Valley Chiropractor.

How Chiropractic Can Help You

Chiropractic is a safe and effective form of treatment for neuro-musculoskeletal complaints. Below is a 30-minute video produced by the BC Chiropractic Association detailing how chiropractic can help you. Whether its a workplace injury, motor vehicle accident or chronic headache, discover how your local chiropractor can get you back on the road to recovery.

[viddler id=755952b3&w=437&h=370]

Dr. Debbie Wright is a practicing Comox Valley Chiropractor.

Chiropractic the Cost-Effective Solution in a Recession

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock in the last few weeks, you’re aware of the financial crisis that is affecting the world. With governments stepping in with millions (and billions) of dollars to bail out companies and banks alike, its time to realize that this is going to start affecting all government delivered services. In Canada specifically, this means inevitable consequences for the most expensive provincial ministry – Health.

In various provinces over the years, chiropractic care has been de-listed from the necessary health care services which are covered under the provincial plan. Each time, projected cost savings has been listed as the reason for the cut. By axing chiropractic services, the government can save 15-20 million per year in payments. What they don’t seem to realize (or they do and don’t care) is that people who would have sought out a course of $40 chiropractic visits for their back pain will now cost the system much, much more for an MD visit, prescription medication, an unnecessary X-ray or MRI, specialist consults and possibly surgery.

This phenomenon has been documented in several instances in the literature. The largest and most comprehensive study to date was a 2004 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine.  The authors analyzed the claims data of 1.7 million California residents – 1 million without chiropractic benefits in their plans, and 700,000 who had chiropractic benefits included.

What they found was that those people with chiropractic coverage spent 12% less per year on total health care costs. They also used less X-rays and MRIs, had fewer surgeries and hospitalizations, and spent 28% less money each time they had a back pain episode.

The authors concluded that having chiropractic benefits as part of a plan helped to reduce the overall cost of the plan in four ways:

  1. People choosing chiropractic were choosing a safer treatment with less side effects. Side effects will lead to increased cost due to the fact that they then need to be further managed.
  2. People would substitute chiropractic in the place of more expensive and less effective medical care, specifically for spine related conditions.
  3. Chiropractic was more conservative and less invasive than some other medical treatments.
  4. Chiropractic has lower health service costs than other common forms of health care.

Its time to start making health care decisions that will pay off in the future, and stop sacrificing long term viability for short term gain. Chiropractic has been shown to be an effective and cost-effective form of treatment for spine and spine-related problems. Health care policy decisions need to start being made based on evidence and research, and not on which lobby group is the strongest.

Affordable Health Care Benefits

As a small business owner, I always thought health benefits were outside of my reach. I have since learned that even small businesses can benefit from group health plans, and having coverage for chiropractic services will result in healthier employees! Here’s some information from Paul Cheetham and Ryan Witmeyer of the Investors Group:

Do you have a small or medium size company with three or more employees? Do you have a corporate policy relating to heath, retirement, or other benefits in place? With the Executive Group Program, a great benefits program, your company will have access to an individually tailored benefits package for you and your employees.

Did you know that group benefits are an investment in a company’s well-being, rather than an expense. They provide a tax-deductible alternative to a raise in pay and are less expensive as there are no additional increases in CPP, EI or WCB payments. Benefits programs can help attract and retain key employees; increase productivity and the quality of employees’ work; and reduce turnover or absenteeism.

Group insurance, retirement services, and educational seminars are Paul’s and Ryan’s primary focuses to create value and increase company morale. They can also provide individual financial planning for employees at no cost to the employer. If you are interested in more information, please email Paul Cheetham at paul.cheetham@investorsgroup.com or Ryan Witmeyer at ryan.witmeyer@investorsgroup.com.