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Small tips to stay healthy

Being healthy is not as simple as some people make it seem online. It’s not easy to find time to do the “simple” two hour long workout that your favorite blogger recommends or to find the twenty-three ingredients needed for the health smoothie that a celebrity loves. Therefore, this list is a compilation of the four easiest and simplest tips to help you live your best and healthiest life.

Join a Team

As someone who hates working out and tries their best to avoid it, the best way for me to actually exercise is by joining a team. Being part of a team means there is a group of people depending on you, making it easier to go to practices and play games. If competitive sports aren’t your niche, there are several teams or just training groups you can join. According to Psychology Today, being around other people regularly increases self-esteem, increases productivity and lowers the risk of dementia.

Get Enough Sleep

Between Netflix and all the games on your phone, it’s easy to lose track of time. One minute you’re watching reruns of Friends and the next thing you know, it’s 2 am and you need to be up at 6:30. Lack of sleep can negatively impact both mental and physical health. Not sleeping enough can be the root of high blood pressure, a variety of heart problems, weight gain and more, Healthline states. So, if you know you’re one to get distracted, program an alarm on your phone or set your wifi to turn off at a certain time. Sleepfoundation.org recommends 9 to 11 hours of sleep for children, 8 to 10 hours for teenagers, 7 to 9 hours for adults and 7 to 8 hours for adults over the age of 65.

Pack Your Lunch When You’re Full

I love carbs and everything not healthy therefore if I have to buy my lunch when I’m hungry, I would definitely pick pasta over a healthy salad. When I pack my lunch beforehand, I find it’s easier to pick healthy foods because I’m thinking from a non-hungry point of view. This is not to say that you can’t or shouldn’t eat unhealthy food just that it’s better for you if unhealthy meals are spaced out throughout the week. Having more energy throughout the day, better heart health and improved brain function are all results of eating healthier according to Medical News Today.

Avoid Stressful Situations

Stress is a constant of life: whether it’s an upcoming deadline or a late bus. As per WebMD, stress can ruin your teeth, cause insomnia and weaken your immune system. In some cases we can’t avoid stress but in others we can. Try choosing an outfit or packing your food the day before if you’re always late and stressed in the morning. Don’t take on extra projects and/or commitments if you’re already struggling with what you have.

 

Troyer, Angela K. “The Health Benefits of Socializing.” Psychology Today, Sussex       Publishers, 30 June 2016, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/living-mild-cognitive-impairment/201606/the-health-benefits-socializing

“11 Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Your Body.” Healthline, Healthline Media, www.healthline.com/health/sleep-deprivation/effects-on-body#1

“How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?” National Sleep Foundation,

https://sleepfoundation.org/excessivesleepiness/content/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need-0

Crichton-Stuart, Cathleen. “The Top 10 Benefits of Eating Healthy.” Medical News      Today, MediLexicon International, 26 June 2018, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322268.php.

Karriem-Norwood, Varnada. “Stress Symptoms.” WebMD, WebMD, 11 July 2017, www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/stress-symptoms-effects_of-stress-on-the-body#1.

“Use the 95:5 Rule To Forever Ignore All Further Healthy Living Advice.” Weighty Matters, 23 June 2015, www.weightymatters.ca/2015/06/use-955-rule-to-forever-ignore-all.html

The reasons why Santé Kildare will not become a “Superclinic” any time soon

 

The Montreal Gazette recently published an exposé on “Quebec’s super clinics and their side-effects.”  It’s hard to escape the hype with near weekly announcements by the Minister of Health touting these “new” establishments as a solution to ER overcrowding.  Proponents call them the long-overdue solution to a chronic problem.  Opponents call them “all smoke and mirrors.”  I prefer the term “McMedicine” – Be wary of the adverse complications of Supersizing.

1.     Superclinic ≠ Supercare

What’s in a name?  Superclinics sounds spectacular – nurses with capes, doctors with superpowers.  The Avengers the Primary Care!

However, we have to question who provides the care.  This does not mean that superclinics don’t have super-doctors or super-nurses, but excellent care really emanates from a nurtured doctor-patient relationship.  “Supercare” is delivered by the health team that knows you.

As Dr. Premji laments in healthydebate.ca – “We promote convenience over continuity.”  In fact, “relational continuity” is associated with better care outcomes than speed.

2.     We perpetuate myths about ER use

No doubt our ERs operate above capacity, but do superclinics solve the problem?  As the Gazette correctly points out, ERs continue to work beyond recommended limits even with the weekly openings of new superclinics.

As Dr. Premji explains, we have to address and solve the underlying problems for ER overcrowding – such as overflowing inpatient wards, too few long-term care beds and an inadequate supply of home care services.

3.     “All smoke and mirrors”

Superclinics did not apparate out of thin air.  They are an extension of the pre-existing Clinique Reseau (CR) model established by Minister of Health Couillard more than a decade ago.  Like superclinics, CRs were open on weekends and evenings with on-site access to radiology, labs and specialists.  The difference – 4 hours on Saturday and Sunday.

 

Again the Gazette exposes the less-than-impressive truth: new superclinics may offer at least 40,000 consultations for walk-in patients each year (using the Pierre Boucher superclinic as an example), but the previously named Pierre Boucher Family Medicine Group had already surpassed that goal in 2016, reporting 47,000 consultations for walk-in patients that year!

4.     It’s the PREMs!

If the acronyms CLSC, CSSS, CIUSSS, GMF, GMF-R, UMF are not confusing enough – consider the punitive PREMs.  The Plans régionaux d’effectifs médicaux or PREMs, is a system the Ministry created to determine how many family doctors can practise in a specific area.

Sometimes access has nothing to do with hours – but with hiring adequate staff to meet the need.

As Dr. Mark Roper, Director of the superclinic at the Queen Elizabeth Health Complex comments: “We have doctors applying to work with us, but they are not permitted to work with us because of the government restrictions.”

The Gazette writes: “The PREMs, Roper argues, have tended to favor the outlying regions to the detriment of Montreal. Montreal doctors treat both local residents and those from the off-island suburbs who commute to the city, yet both Liberal and PQ governments have resisted allocating more permits to what is known bureaucratically as Region 6. Politically, more votes are up for grabs off island than in Montreal.”

5.     Who is your clientele?

A big source of confusion remains who is responsible for care.  Family Medicine Groups (GMFs) meet the needs of its defined, rostered population.  Superclinics offer appointments to anyone.  In an ideal world, superclinics bridge the gap between GMFs and ERs, but in reality, the system is contradictory, unnecessarily complex, and at times, adversarial.

Family doctors are financially penalized when their patients seek care elsewhere yet an aggressive advertising campaign for superclinics literally entice and lure patients away from their family doctors.

Combined with the fact that superclinics are also GMFs, the primary care equation becomes unrecognizable.  Solve this formula: GMFs need 80% of its registered patients to see GMF doctors exclusively AND the same GMF-R (aka superclinic) is mandated to book non-registered patients 80% of the time!  Care seems more paradoxical than complimentary.

6.     Shuffling the deck

With PREMs limiting physician movement, who staffs the new wunderclinics?  You guessed it – the same doctors from the GMFs, former CRs and even the ERs.  As one family doctor commented to the Gazette – “I’m thinking of going to work in a super clinic, but that’s just a reshuffling of the cards, isn’t it?”

Other clinics (often the former CRs) are caught in GMF/GMF-R purgatory – too big for one yet small enough for the other.  Funding is threatened and operators fear the demise of their services.  One doctor notes, “It makes no sense.  Since we want to create these super clinics, we’re in the process of hollowing out clinics that used to function well, clinics like mine.”

In the end, GMF Santé Kildare remains committed to providing supercare to our super-patients.  We are fortunate to have a super-team committed to your health and wellbeing.

 

10% effective? No – the flu vaccine is an EXCELLENT match!!

According to recent data from the Public Agency of Canada, 583 influenza viruses have been identified. The quadivalent vaccine that we gave children last Fall (Flulaval Tetra) covers 98.2% of these viruses.

The trivalent vaccine (Agriflu and Fluviral) covers 99.8% of the Influenza A viruses (including H3N2 and H1N1).

So why are so many people getting sick with the flu?

Regrettably, unlike the quadrivalent vaccine, the trivalent version does not vaccinate against the vast majority of the Influenza B viruses. Even so, the trivalent vaccine is a match against 62.3% of all indentified flu viruses this year.

Articles like the one below, published in December, warned about strains in Australia and Western Canada and speculated on their potential impact.

In reality, the flu vaccine is an excellent match – or in the words of the National Microbiology Laboratory – the circulating influenza viruses are “antigenically similar to components in the 2017-2018 Northern Hemisphere vaccine.”

The bottom line – get the Flu vaccine.