July 30, 2012

"Poverty and Inequality..most powerful determinants of health..."

Here is an insightful letter to the Globe and Mail editor regarding the recent Council of the Federation meeting.

30 Jul 2012
The Globe and Mail Metro (Ontario Edition)

Health-care iceberg

    The Council of the Federation and its health-care-innovations working group have suggested useful measures to reorganize purchasing, health-care delivery and evaluation (Premiers Take HealthCare Reins – July 27). But they can be accused of reorganizing the deck chairs while ignoring the iceberg: Persistent poverty and inequality are the most powerful determinants of health status and, therefore, health-care expenditure. The federal government has increased the size of the iceberg with its eligibility restrictions on Old Age Security and Employment Insurance.

    Canadian physician and health analyst Michael Rachlis estimates that poverty accounts for at least 20 per cent of all health-care costs. The premiers ignore this at their peril.

    No one remembers the crew of the Titanic for making service more efficient by reorganizing deck chairs, but rather for causing a disaster by ignoring reality. – Sid Frankel, Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba 

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