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Health care in Canada - What Makes us sick? Canadian Medical Association Town Hall Report | July 2013

Health care in Canada - What Makes us sick? Canadian Medical Association Town Hall Report | July 2013

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Several themes from the town hall meetings were summa- rized by CMA President Dr. Anna Reid:
• Poverty is the most important issue and must be addressed.
• Poverty can cause multiple morbidities and even influence early childhood neurologic development.
• Mental health issues remain “the elephant in the room” and underlie many of the social determinants of health.
• Governments need to be pressured to take action, but there is a clear role for citizens, physicians and communi- ties to help deal with the problems.
• The capacity of non-profit organizations to help is reaching the breaking point.
• There is a link between a healthy society and a healthy economy.
Several themes from the town hall meetings were summa- rized by CMA President Dr. Anna Reid:
• Poverty is the most important issue and must be addressed.
• Poverty can cause multiple morbidities and even influence early childhood neurologic development.
• Mental health issues remain “the elephant in the room” and underlie many of the social determinants of health.
• Governments need to be pressured to take action, but there is a clear role for citizens, physicians and communi- ties to help deal with the problems.
• The capacity of non-profit organizations to help is reaching the breaking point.
• There is a link between a healthy society and a healthy economy.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Langley Teachers' Association on Jul 31, 2013
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Canadan Mdcal Aocaton Town Hall Rport
|
Jly 2013
Health care in Canada
WHAT MAkes us siCk?
 
1Health care in Canada: What makes us sick?
ExEcutivE summary 
Throughout the winter and spring o 2013, the CanadianMedical Association (CMA) conducted wide-ranging con-sultations to gather input on Canadians’ views on the socialdeterminants o health. Public town hall meetings were heldin Winnipeg, Hamilton, Charlottetown, Calgary, Montréaland St. John’s and were accompanied by an online consulta-tion at www.healthcaretransormation.ca.The process was ramed around our questions aimed atdetermining what actors beyond the health care system inu-ence health, what initiatives oset the negative impact o thesedeterminants, what governments and health care providersshould be doing to address these social determinants, and how equal access or all to the health care system can be achieved.In every phase o the consultation, our main social deter-minants o health were identifed by participants:
incomehousin•nutritionandfoodsecurit•earlychildhooddevelopment
Several other social determinants o health were men-tioned, such as culture, the environment, education andhealth literacy.Participants stressed that society, governments and healthcare providers all have an obligation to address such problemsas poverty, inadequate housing and nutrition.Because the health o indigenous peoples in Canada wasseen as being particularly inuenced by the social determi-nants o health, the CMA held a town hall meeting to addressthe challenges acing Aboriginal people and communities.Several themes rom the town hall meetings were summa-rized by CMA President Dr. Anna Reid:
•Povertyisthemostimportantissueandmustbe
addressed.
•Povertycancausemultiplemorbiditiesandeveninu
-ence early childhood neurologic development.
•Mentalhealthissuesremain“theelephantintheroom”
and underlie many o the social determinants o health.
•Governmentsneedtobepressuredtotakeaction,but
there is a clear role or citizens, physicians and communi-ties to help deal with the problems.
•Thecapacityofnon-protorganizationstohelpisreach
-
ingthebreakingpoint.•Thereisalinkbetweenahealthysocietyandahealthy
economy.
•Socialinitiativesneedspecicfundingandshouldbe
viewed as investments.
•Thereisaneedtolookatwhysocietyiswillingtoaccept
disparities.
•Socialinequitiesareamajorcauseofstressandinsecurity.•Themedicalprofessionhastheauthorityandvoicetotakeleadershipontheseissues.•Canadiansocietyhassufferedfromalackofimagination,
 will and leadership to address social inequities.
•Theguaranteedannualincomeisacompellingconcept
and can have a positive impact on health outcomes.
•StructuralracismkeepsAboriginalpeopleinpoverty;this
must be addressed to improve health outcomes or thesecommunities.
•Thecostofdoingnothingisverylarge,soreallocationof
existing spending is important.Based on the input received, clear areas o action haveemerged :
Recommendation 1:
That the ederal, provincial and ter-ritorial governments give top priority to developing an actionplan to eliminate poverty in Canada.
Recommendation 2:
That the guaranteed annual incomeapproach to alleviating poverty be evaluated and tested
throughamajorpilotprojectfundedbythefederalgovern
-ment.
Recommendation 3:
That the ederal, provincial and ter-ritorial governments develop strategies to ensure access toaordable housing or low-and middle-income Canadians.
Recommendation 4:
Thatthe“HousingFirst”approach
developed by the Mental Health Commission o Canada toprovide housing or people with chronic conditions caus-ing homelessness should be continued and expanded to all
Canadianjurisdictions.
Recommendation 5:
That a national ood security programbe established to ensure equitable access to sae and nutri-tious ood or all Canadians regardless o neighbourhood orincome.
Recommendation 6:
That investments in early childhooddevelopment including education programs and parental sup-ports be a priority or all levels o government.

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