Long-term measures to reduce tobacco consumption in Australia have had differential effects in the population. The prevalence of smoking in Aboriginal peoples is currently more than double that of the non-Aboriginal population. Aboriginal Health Workers are responsible for providing primary health care to Aboriginal clients including smoking cessation programs. However, Aboriginal Health Workers are frequently smokers themselves, and their smoking undermines the smoking cessation services they deliver to Aboriginal clients. An understanding of the barriers to quitting smoking experienced by Aboriginal Health Workers is needed to design culturally relevant smoking cessation programs. Once smoking is reduced in Aboriginal Health Workers, they may then be able to support Aboriginal clients to quit smoking.
We undertook a fundamental qualitative description study underpinned by social ecological theory. The research was participatory, and academic researchers worked in partnership with personnel from the local Aboriginal health council. The barriers Aboriginal Health Workers experience in relation to quitting smoking were explored in 34 semi-structured interviews (with 23 Aboriginal Health Workers and 11 other health staff) and 3 focus groups (n = 17 participants) with key informants. Content analysis was performed on transcribed text and interview notes.
Aboriginal Health Workers spoke of burdensome stress and grief which made them unable to prioritise quitting smoking. They lacked knowledge about quitting and access to culturally relevant quitting resources. Interpersonal obstacles included a social pressure to smoke, social exclusion when quitting, and few role models. In many workplaces, smoking was part of organisational culture and there were challenges to implementation of Smokefree policy. Respondents identified inadequate funding of tobacco programs and a lack of Smokefree public spaces as policy level barriers. The normalisation of smoking in Aboriginal society was an overarching challenge to quitting.
Aboriginal Health Workers experience multilevel barriers to quitting smoking that include personal, social, cultural and environmental factors. Multidimensional smoking cessation programs are needed that reduce the stress and burden for Aboriginal Health Workers; provide access to culturally relevant quitting resources; and address the prevailing normalisation of smoking in the family, workplace and community.
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Public health emergency planning includes a consideration of public health human resource requirements. We addressed the hypothetical question: How many public health physicians could Canada mobilize in the event of a public health emergency?
We used the 2004 National Physician Survey (NPS) to estimate the number of public health physicians in Canada. Using weighting to account for non-response, we estimated the numbers and population estimates of public health physicians who were active versus 'in reserve'. We explored the impact of using diverse definitions of public health physician based upon NPS questions on professional activity, self-reported degrees and certifications, and physician database classifications.
Of all Canadian physicians, an estimated 769 (1.3%) are qualified to practice public health by virtue of degrees and certifications relevant to public health, of whom 367 (48%) also report active 'community medicine/public health' practice. Even among Canada's 382 Community Medicine specialists, only 60% report active public health practice.
The estimation of the size of Canada's public health physician workforce is currently limited by the lack of a clear definition and appropriate monitoring. It appears that, even with a reserve public health physician workforce that would almost double its numbers, Canada's available workforce is only 40% of projected requirements. Public health emergency preparedness planning exercises should clearly delineate public health physician roles and needs, and action should be taken accordingly to enhance the numbers of Canadian public health physicians and their capacity to meet these requirements.
The purpose of this study was to obtain a comprehensive demographic profile of public health nutritionists employed in provincial and municipal/regional departments of health in Canada in 1988. One hundred and fifty three (78%) of all eligible Canadian public health nutritionists responded to a mailed questionnaire. Almost all (98%) respondents were female, with a mean age of 35.8 +/- 7.2 years. Most nutritionists (83%) worked full time, and had been employed in public health for a mean of six years and nine months. Seventy percent of respondents had worked in another profession(s) or other area(s) of nutrition prior to entering public health. Although 65% were members of the management team or represented by a nutritionist on the management team, 25% of nutritionists were not regarded as members of senior management in their health agency. While the majority of nutritionists in Ontario (84%) had completed a graduate degree, this was the case for the minority of respondents from British Columbia (35%), the Prairies (32%), Quebec (33%), and Atlantic Canada (27%).
We performed a study to determine the supply of and requirements for ophthalmologists in Ontario in 2000 and 2005. In this paper we describe our methods.
The future supply of ophthalmologists was estimated by means of iterative multiple regression analysis using the baseline number of ophthalmologists, the number of ophthalmology residents and the numbers of ophthalmologists entering and exiting the workforce between 1989 and 2004. Data were obtained from the Ontario Physician Human Resource Data Centre, Statistics Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Finance and residency program directors of Ontario universities. We calculated requirements using four models. The physician:population ratio method used an ophthalmologist:population ratio (1:29,650) proposed by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and Statistics Canada population projections for 2000 and 2005. The utilization-based, substitution and needs-based models used Ontario Health Insurance Plan data for 1995. The supply and requirements are expressed as full-time equivalents, defined as the average number of minutes worked by ophthalmologists in 1995. The 401 ophthalmologists practising in Ontario in 1995 accounted for 452 full-time equivalents.
Incorporating the results of several requirement models increases the reliability and acceptability of estimates of physician workforce requirements.
Comment In: Can J Ophthalmol. 1999 Apr;34(2):59-6110321314
To determine whether the projected supply of ophthalmologists in 2000 and 2005 in Ontario will be matched by the predicted requirements.
Described in the accompanying paper (page 74).
Multiple regression analysis predicted a supply of 485 +/- 15 full-time-equivalent (FTE) ophthalmologists in 2000 and 476 +/- 14 FTEs in 2005. Except for the needs-based method of determining requirements, which generated a figure of 524 +/- 16 to 533 +/- 16 FTEs, the requirement methods yielded estimates that were within the range of the projected supply for 2000 (physician:population ratio method 458, utilization-based method 500 +/- 15 and substitution method 470 +/- 14 to 490 +/- 15). For 2005, only the physician:population ratio method gave an FTE requirement estimate (489) that was in keeping with the projected supply. The other models gave FTE estimates that were higher than the projected supply (utilization-based model 559 +/- 17, substitution model 526 +/- 16 to 548 +/- 16, and needs-based model 585 +/- 18 to 596 +/- 18).
The reduction in the number of ophthalmology residents in Ontario that began in 1994 will not affect the short-term requirements for ophthalmologists but may result in fewer ophthalmologists than will be necessary to fulfil Ontario's requirements in 2005 and beyond. Possible solutions include doubling the number of residency positions beginning in 1999.
Comment In: Can J Ophthalmol. 1999 Apr;34(2):59-6110321314
Latin America (LA), defined here as the countries in the Western hemisphere located south of the United States, is a region with a total population of nearly 520,000,000 that increases 1.5% annually and has a human development index of 0.77. The countries that form this region present extreme contrasts. These contrasts are first and foremost within the countries themselves, because extremes of wealth and poverty are present in their social and economic fabric. In addition, in LA a vast variety of government modalities and political systems are represented. Therefore, in order for prevention strategies to be effective, they need to be tailored to the specific characteristics and idiosyncrasies of individual nations. This article will address the following aspects: first, a broad outline of the basic health statistics in LA, with focus on treatment of end-stage renal disease and its derived economic burden. Data from LA countries will be contrasted with 95% confidence interval of corresponding data from 10 industrialized countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, United States, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland). Second, we will discuss the prevalence of some risk factors for end-stage renal disease in the nations of the region. For this reason, we will focus on data that provide reliable information. Finally, we will consider general guidelines for the implementation of prevention strategies that may have common applicability in LA countries.
Few studies have investigated the service needs of persons who inject drugs (PWID) who live in less populated regions of Canada. With access to fewer treatment and harm reduction services than those in more urban environments, the needs of PWID in smaller centres may be distinct. As such, the present study examined the needs of PWID in Prince Edward Island (PEI), the smallest of Canada's provinces.
Eight PWID were interviewed about the services they have accessed, barriers they faced when attempting to access these services, and what services they need that they are not currently receiving.
Participants encountered considerable barriers when accessing harm reduction and treatment services due to the limited hours of services, lengthy wait times for treatment, and shortage of health care practitioners. They also reported experiencing considerable negativity from health care practitioners. Participants cited incidences of stigmatisation, and they perceived that health care practitioners received insufficient training related to drug use. Recommendations for the improvement of services are outlined.
The findings indicate that initiatives should be developed to improve PWID's access to harm reduction and treatment services in PEI. Additionally, health care practitioners should be offered sensitisation training and improved education on providing services to PWID. The findings highlight the importance of considering innovative alternatives for service provision in regions with limited resources.
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A systematic review was conducted of the literature on human resources planning (HRP) in dentistry in Canada, critically assessing the scientific strength of 1968-1999 publications. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied to 176 peer-reviewed publications and "grey literature" reports. Thirty papers were subsequently assessed for strength of design and relevance of evidence to objectively address HRP. Twelve papers were position statements or experts' reports not amenable for inclusion in the system. Of the remaining 18 papers, 4 were classified as projections from manpower-to-population ratios, 4 as dental practitioner opinion surveys, 8 as estimates of requisite demand to absorb current capacity and 2 as need-based, demand-weighted studies. Within the 30.5 years reviewed, 53.4% of papers were published between 1982 and 1987. Overall, many papers called for a reduction in human resources, a message that dominated HRP during the 1980s, or noted an increase in the demand for services. HRP publications often had questionable strength or analytic frameworks. The paradigm of busyness-scarcity evolved from a belief around an economic model for the profession into a fundamental tenet of HRP. A formal analysis to establish its existence beyond arbitrary dentist:population ratios has usually been lacking.