Should physicians in Canada be held more accountable for the opioid epidemic?

Should physicians in Canada be held more accountable for the opioid epidemic?
From Global News - August 3, 2017

With the opioid epidemic claiming the lives of at least 2,458 Canadians last year, according to an estimate released by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), should we be taking a closer look at prescribing practices?

Health and government officials across the country have been rushing to address the growing overdose crisis from drugs such as fentanyl that has swept across Canada.

While there are many reasons behind the cause of the epidemic, the seriousness of the situation has seen some doctors in the U.S. being charged with murder.

READ MORE: Trudeau says Canada not looking to decriminalize harder drugs, experts call that irresponsible

Physicians in Canada are increasingly being held accountable for their prescribing practices but it has not lead to sanctions such as a murder charge.

Dr. Todd Watkins is the Managing Director of Physician Services at the Canadian Medical Protective Agency and says that teaching practices for physicians have changed over the years.

I can tell you that the training now is much much different and theres been a concerted effort within the medical schools and within the ongoing professional development of physicians that are already in practice to restructure the training and use best evidence to formulate that training.

LISTEN:Dr. Todd Watkins speaking on CKNWs, The Jon McComb Show

However, Watkins says there is a responsibility that lies with physicians.

Physicians have a role to play within their realm of influence to be able to reduce the number of opioids that get prescribed and then ultimately those drugs that make it to the streets.


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