Mark Zuckerberg supports universal basic income

Last week, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg received an honorary degree from Harvard University. At the commencement, he promoted the idea of a basic income guarantee, joining several other tech leaders in advocating for this idea. Tech leaders can see a world where robots and AI are doing a lot of work currently performed by humans, and so are already considering how those who lose their jobs will be retrained for the new economy that emerges.…

Continue reading


Jimmy Kimmel’s emotional monologue about his newborn son’s heart surgery

“I have a story to tell about something that happened to our family last week.” With those words, Jimmy Kimmel opened his show. Using a combination of vulnerability and humour, he told us about the last two weeks in the Kimmel household, starting with the birth of his son: William “Billy” Kimmel. A few hours after the birth, a nurse noticed that the baby had a faint heart murmur, and was slightly blue. The baby…

Continue reading


Income inequality and determinants of health in the US

A series published in The Lancet recently investigated the effect of income inequality on the health of Americans. While incomes for those in the top have grown, extreme poverty has also grown in the US. In fact, more than 1.6 million households in the US survive on less than $2 per day; a number double that of the 1990s. The cycle is not likely to be broken either, barring major social change. Differences in aspects…

Continue reading


A coffee, a donut, and a defibrillator

By Leonard Bentley from Iden, East Sussex, UK – Iden, CC BY-SA 2.0 When someone has a heart attack, every minute counts. The American Heart Institute guidelines say that for every minute, the chances of a victim surviving decrease by 7 to 10 percent. To help save lives, Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) have become more and more ubiquitous, and now can be found in many different locations, including coffee shops, banks, malls, and sports complexes. When…

Continue reading


A better name for “non-communicable diseases”

I came across an interesting read last week in The Lancet. In it, Drs Allen and Feigl make an interesting case for changing how we refer to non-communicable diseases The global health community does not spend much time on branding, which perhaps explains why existing classifications for the three largest groups of diseases are both outdated and counterproductive. The first Global Burden of Disease study described infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and injuries. This grouping…

Continue reading


2017: What can we expect?

Following up from the end of last year, I thought it would be fun to predict what I think the next 12 months will have in store for us. So lets get to it! 1. Repeal of the Affordable Care Act President Trump has already made it clear that this is one of his first priorities when he assumes office. The groundwork was already laid with the combination of the Senate passing a budget measure that…

Continue reading


The only way to save Obamacare is to expand it

The Affordable Care Act was a landmark piece of legislation for the United States. While most other G-20 countries already have some form of universal healthcare (either through a single payer system, or mandatory insurance coverage), the US was one of the few countries that did not have one. Arguably, however, it didn’t go far enough, and therein lies its biggest problem. One of the key provisions in Obamacare was that insurers could not deny…

Continue reading


Basic Income: From an idea to reality

Our current way of dealing with poverty is inefficient at best, with mountains of forms, paperwork, weighed down by bureaucracy and procedures. At worst, it’s stigmatising and judgemental, keeping people in poverty rather than giving them opportunities to break free and elevate themselves out of poverty. One possible solution is providing individuals with a Basic Income (click link for my previous post on the subject). A selling point for Basic Income is that it can save…

Continue reading


Which diseases do we get to “fight”?

About two weeks ago, the Hospital for Sick Children, also known as SickKids, launched their new ad campaign. For those who aren’t from Canada, SickKids is based in Toronto, Ontario, is the second largest children’s hospital in the world, and does some truly amazing and inspiring work. I highly recommend watching the ad, as the messaging and production quality is absolutely amazing. The imagery and symbolism is strong, and shows these children as fighters who…

Continue reading