Definitely Worth Watching

The following was submitted by a member of the Patient 4 Change community. Thanks Shannon.

“Sharing this to help bring some context and understanding to the opioid crisis. This documentary is filmed in Alberta with a focus on Calgary and the Blood Tribe Reserve.

While the focus here is on long term users who are buying illegally – it’s really important to know that Alberta’s prescribing practices for opioid painkillers are mind boggling. Last year there were 1.8 million RXs written for opioids. Alberta’s population is 4.9 million. We are the highest opioid RX jurisdiction in the world.”

Click here to watch the video.

Are patients the health care system’s free labor?

Have you ever felt overburdened by the amount of paperwork, phone calls, e-mails, appointments, etc., associated with navigating the health care system?  If so, you are not alone.


In the article, “Unpaid, stressed, and confused: patients are the health care system’s free labor,” Sarah Kliff describes how the health care system can place considerable burden on the patient him/herself. This realization came about from her own experience managing a chronic foot injury. As Kliff explains:

What I didn’t understand was the burden patients face in managing the health care system: a massive web of doctors, insurers, pharmacies, and other siloed actors that seem intent on not talking with one another. That unenviable task gets left to the patient, the secret glue that holds the system together.

For me, this feels like a part-time job where the pay is lousy, the hours inconvenient, and the stakes incredibly high. It’s up to me to ferry medical records between different providers, to track down a pharmacy that can fill my prescription, and to talk to my insurance when a treatment gets denied to find out why.

Click here to read the full article.

Survey: Pain Patients and Treatment at Hospitals

pain treatment
Over 1250 acute or chronic pain patients participated in an online survey by Pain News Network and the International Pain Foundation that focused on hospital pain care. Based on the results obtained, many pain patients felt that the treatment they received from a hospital was far less than ideal. As one pain patient stated, “It’s so bad that I will not seek treatment in an ER or hospital unless I really feel like my life is in jeopardy. They do not get it, they do not listen, and they do not care.” Another individual wrote, “I refuse to go to ER. It will end up killing me because I know how sick I am, but I would rather die than deal with ignorant, condescending doctors and nurses.” To read more about this study’s findings, click here.

Insight into Insite


Insite is the first legal supervised interjection site in North America.  Located in Vancouver, Canada, people can inject drugs in a safe place that is health focused.  The goal of Insite, which is operated and funded by Vancouver Coastal Health, is to “decrease the adverse health, social and economic consequences of drug use without requiring abstinence from drug use.” ( Continue reading

Is that a Want or a Need?

Oft times there is a clear difference between wants and needs.  However, this distinction can be far less clear in some situations – such as in healthcare.  According to Brian W. Rotenberg, “Doctors need to start openly and directly considering the concept of medical necessity when talking with patients about tests or procedures. Patients, in turn, need to keep in mind that their healthcare is not “free,” and that many of their health-related complaints likely represent wants, rather than needs.”  Read the full article here.