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Last week was Delirium Awareness Week, designed to increase everyone's understanding of delirium, its causes and what can be done to support our patients who have delirium or prevent its occurrence. As part of that week, we ran a story about one patient's experience with delirium and I want to thank Karen Bryer for her generosity in providing us her insight and describing how terrifying it can be when delirium hits. To think that people who are caring for you are trying to kill you and to experience terror while they are trying to help you is unimaginable. It certainly sets back your recovery and would be extremely frightening for your family to watch. A critical piece of her story was how familiar voices were her link to reality and brought her out of the delirium. That is just one reason why UHN wants to support families and friends to work with us while we care for their loved ones. You can read Karen's story here.
All of the Provincial Health Ministers met with the Federal Health Minister, Dr. Jane Philpott at the end of last week to continue discussions on health issues which are relevant to all Canadians. As you will have read, the discussions covered a broad range of topics, the most pressing of which given the timeline set out by the Supreme Court, is that of legislation around physician-assisted death. The Province of Ontario has been holding consultations on this topic, as have professional groups, and citizen groups. At UHN, we have also been holding discussions and we look forward to the clarity that will be provided with legislation.
This week, I am travelling to the Middle East – Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Kuwait – as part of a health care delegation being led by our Provincial Minister of Health, Dr. Eric Hoskins and including our Deputy Minister, Dr. Bob Bell, and representatives from peer hospitals including The Hospital for Sick Children and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. This is an opportunity for the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care to further collaborations and partnerships with countries in the Middle East. Many leaders of health care organizations and systems in this region were trained at education and health care institutions in Canada, and in particular Ontario, and so this is an opportunity to build upon and deepen existing relationships. This is also an opportunity for me to reunite with and personally thank our UHN Team in Kuwait who are ramping down our current five year project between the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Kuwait Cancer Control Centre. While in Kuwait, I hope to have the opportunity to express to the Kuwait Prime Minister and Ministry of Health officials our desire to continue working together to improve cancer services for citizens of both Kuwait and Ontario.