Andre Picard - Globe and Mail
“Millions of Canadians have to choose between paying for groceries or their prescription medications,” Hassan Yussuf, president of the Canadian Labour Congress, wrote in a recent commentary.
That is one of the most frequently cited reasons for national pharmacare by proponents of a sweeping domestic plan.
First of all, that claim is questionable. It is based on polling data that show 23 per cent of those surveyed said they had experienced difficulty paying for prescriptions. Another study found that 731,000 Canadians borrowed money to pay for their prescription drugs, and some were cutting back on necessities as a result.Read more
You may have heard the old saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
A new Saint John doctor and medical educator says the same holds true for spending on social services.
"Spending on social services tends to have a larger impact on gigantic health outcomes, such as dying, versus spending on health care," said Dr. Daniel Dutton, the newest addition to the instructional staff at Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick.
"In Canada, we spend a gigantic proportion of our money ... on health care, which ends up being treatment of diseases.Read more
Noralou Roos, the founding director of the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, says the link between poverty and health is clear.
“I’ve spent my whole career understanding the factors related to health and health status,” says Roos.Read more
Income is a key factor that affects our health and well-being.
Low income – or poverty – can lead to many problems. When people do not have enough income to pay for basic necessities such as food, housing and other goods and services, they are more likely to have health problems and die younger than people with higher incomes. In Northumberland County, we see how poverty takes a human and social toll that hurts the community and leads to higher health care costs.
The old ways of reducing poverty do not work, and new approach is needed to fix the problem. Thankfully, the Ontario government has taken a major step forward with the announcement of a Basic Income Guarantee pilot project (www.ontario.ca/basicincome) starting later this year in Hamilton/Brantford, Thunder Bay and Lindsay.Read more
Roderick Benns recently interviewed Dr. Gary Bloch about basic income. Bloch is a family physician with St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, and co-Chair of the Ontario College of Family Physicians’ Committee on Poverty and Health. His clinical, educational, program development, and research interests focus on the intersection between poverty and health, and specifically on what primary care providers can do to address poverty as a health issue.
Benns: We’re set to introduce a pilot on basic income here in Ontario. Are you optimistic this multi-year project will lead to a full-fledged model for the province and a measurable increase in people’s health?
Bloch: I am cautiously optimistic. I think a pilot like this is a big investment, and wouldn’t be undertaken if there weren’t at least some intent to follow up on the findings longer term.Read more
By Roderick Benns, Waterloo Region Record
Social justice thinker R.W. Connell once said: "Statistically speaking, the best advice I would give to a poor child eager to get ahead in education is to choose richer parents."
Connell's advice goes beyond education, though. Income connects not only to education outcomes, but to our very health and wellness. That's why it was heartening to hear federal Health Minister Jane Philpott speak recently of "social inequity" as the greatest barrier to improving health for Canadians. In her recent remarks to the Canadian Medical Association, Philpott cited "social factors" as a key issue that needs to be addressed to improve health.
This is the primary reason we must move forward with a basic income guarantee for Canadians.Read more