BMJ 2010; 340 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c2388 (Published 04 May 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2388

Focusing on centralisation or regionalisation to address Canada’s financially unsustainable healthcare system is like “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic”, writes a retired family doctor in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (2010;182:699, doi:10.1503/cmaj.110-2049). Exponential growth in three areas—new technology, new treatments, and the cost of drugs—has contributed to unsustainable healthcare expenditure, along with free, comprehensive health care. The writer thinks that patients should take more responsibility for healthier lifestyles, and more financial responsibility for health care—as a percentage of income above the poverty line.

Chewing gum may be an effective strategy for the management of salivary secretions in Parkinson’s disease. The disease is associated with impairment of swallowing, which in turn can lead to drooling. A pilot study showed that chewing gum increased the frequency and decreased the latency of swallowing in patients with Parkinson’s disease who had no substantial problems in swallowing while eating. The positive effects continued for longer than five minutes after the gum was spat out. (Neurology 2010;74:1198-202, doi:10.1212/wnl.0b013e3181d9002b).

The American Society …

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