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Health, Guelph vote, sports, injections

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April 19, 2011

Health care financing and delivery on election radar
The issue of challenges to the sustainability of health care in Canada is finally making its mark on the federal election campaign. Adding to the spotlight is a new report by the Fraser Institute. Its proposal that rules governing Medicare be suspended while provinces “experiment” with new financing systems is not a step in the right direction, says SFU health policy analyst Karen Palmer. Implementing such actions as investor owned hospitals, or direct patient payments, ‘co-insurance’ and private insurance for hospital and physician services will undermine the system in the long run, says Palmer, who lived in the U.S. for two decades and “witnessed the destruction” caused by private for-profit investor-owned and financed health care in that country. “Not only to patients,” she says, “but to doctors too. Nothing would undermine Medicare faster than supplementary user-based, private financing, which would simply shift costs from the healthy and wealthy to the sick and poor in the most inequitable way imaginable.”

Karen Palmer, 778.782.8593;

Investigation sought in university vote

SFU instructor Michael Markwick is asking Elections Canada for an immediate investigation into allegations that operatives of the Conservative Party filmed voters, attempted to seize a ballot box and otherwise attempted to intimidate voters at a polling station at Guelph University. "Elections Canada has examined the incident only to determine if the polling station was valid," said Markwick.  "Having affirmed the validity of the poll, they must now investigate the serious allegations of obstruction, duress and intimidation of youth voters at Guelph."  Michael Markwick is a researcher and instructor in democratic communication and ethical social change.

Michael Markwick, 778.847.1426 (cell)

Mental health in sports

Two SFU psychologists will tackle elite athletic performance from different mental health perspectives in the next lecture in this year’s Psych in the City lecturer series, on Wednesday, April 20. In Performance Enhancement and Clinical Issues in Contemporary Sports Psychology, David Cox will review mental health issues as they relate to elite-level individual and team athletes trying to enhance their performance.  Bob Ley will follow with an explanation of how clinical intervention can help athletes facing performance challenges. The free public lecture runs from 7 to 9 p.m. at Fletcher Challenge Canada Theatre at Harbour Centre.

David Cox, 778.782.6667;
Bob Ley, 778.782.3172;
Jeni Koumoutsakis, reservations, 778.782.3250;

Evaluating injection sites

Two SFU experts are available to discuss the science behind yet another study showing that Vancouver’s controversial safe injection site saves lives. Criminologist Neil Boyd and health scientist John O’Neil can also offer thought on whether these studies’ findings should be swaying politicians, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper to get behind supporting the site.

Neil Boyd, 778.782.3324;
John O’Neil, 778.782.5361;


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