NEWS BRIEFS (March 26, 2001)

NOT TODAY, I HAVE A HEADACHE
Ottawa — Canadians lose more than seven million working days a year due to migraine headaches, according to Statistics Canada. And women are three times more likely to suffer from migraines. The National Population Health Survey, released last month, also reported that migraine sufferers reported an average of 1.8 disability days for the two-week period before the survey was taken in 1998-99, while non-sufferers reported taking 0.8 disability days in that same period.

SECURE, FULL-TIME WORK WILL BRING NURSES BACK
Toronto, Victoria — More than three-quarters of Ontario nurses who left the county to work would consider returning home — with the right offer. A survey conducted by the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, questioned some 3,000 expatriate nurses working in 73 countries, and found that 65 per cent said they would return if they could find a full-time job and 66 per cent would return if their relocation expenses were paid. Only half of all nurses in the province now work full-time. In B.C., the government has launched an aggressive plan to stem the nurses shortage, including programs to improve working conditions, fast-track entry of foreign nurses, mentoring and training initiatives. St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver recently closed several beds, postponed 15 surgeries and asked that only the seriously ill come to the emergency department in an attempt to give time off to overworked nurses.

ONLINE LEARNING NEEDS BOOST
Ottawa — Canada needs to develop online educational content or risk relying on foreign sources less responsive to Canadians’ needs, a report by the Council of Ministers of Education states. In addition to supporting the development of the learnware industry, the report, delivered to federal Minister of Industry Brian Tobin, recommends making broadband Internet service more accessible, training teachers to better use technology in education and creating a comprehensive database of Canadian online learning resources.

GATEWAY TO SERVICES
Ottawa — The Web is now making it easier for Canadian business owners to access services and information from the federal government. Brian Tobin, minister of industry, launched BusinessGateway.ca, a portal to key services and information from the Government of Canada, including human resources, taxation and tenders.

LAW FIRMS EXPECT TO HIRE
Toronto — Most law firms expect to be hiring in the coming years. Eighty-seven per cent of 100 top Canadian law firms, surveyed by legal staffing firm The Affiliates, expect to be adding lawyers. None of the respondents predict a decrease, with the remainder expecting levels to be static.

NAPPING YOUR WAY TO PRODUCTIVITY
Tokyo — A 15-minute nap after lunch raises afternoon alertness levels and improves performance, a study by Japan’s National Institute of Industrial Health indicates. The study of subjects who had slept only four hours the night before found a nap led to faster reaction times, less sleepiness and a decrease in logical reasoning errors.

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