Cal Robinson is a PGY2 Pediatrics resident at McMaster University interested in how social determinants of health impact Canadian children.
On November 22nd, 2018, Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government unveiled their planned reforms of provincial social assistance programs, including changing the definition of disability for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). These announcements have been met with criticism from political and advocacy groups who argue that these represent further cuts to social assistance. Further policy announcements last year included a reduction of the planned 3% increase in social assistance to 1.5% and cancellation of the Ontario Basic Income Pilot, one of the largest minimum income studies ever developed. The Ontario Basic Income Pilot had already enrolled 4,000 low-income individuals across the province. These intended cuts to Ontario’s social assistance programs will have a substantial negative impact on the health of Ontarians, and will particularly threaten the physical, psychological and social wellbeing of Canadian children and their families. ...continue reading →
Bonnie Larson is Family Physician at Calgary Urban Project Society (CUPS) Health Centre
Recently I called the emergency department from my outreach clinic in an urban shelter. Near the end of the day, the nurse mentioned that one of the clients staying there, a young aboriginal woman I will call Ms. Rain, was supposed to follow up on an abnormal lab result from a few days earlier. As I looked the patient up on the ancient clinic laptop, I thought about the promise I had made to my daughter that morning to try to be home by suppertime. I willed the computer to load the results a little faster so I could get home to my family.
I wish I could say what I learned in class prepared me for this conversation, but unfortunately, it did not.
Moments after completing an online module at home titled “Health and Homelessness” for the Community, Population & Public Health course as part of the pre-clerkship curriculum at the University of Toronto, I stumbled across who I thought was a homeless child - a small, skinny figure in a hoodie, with a Tim Hortons cup placed in front.
Laura Stymiest is a paediatrics resident at Dalhousie University. She previously trained at the Coady International Institute and has researched in the area of Social Paediatrics. She writes with...
Elizabeth Lee-Ford Jones, an expert adviser with EvidenceNetwork.ca, and Prof of Paediatrics at SickKids in Toronto.
I remember being a second year medical student working in a paediatric clinic.
I see a young girl who has been referred for inability to pay attention in the classroom. The child’s teacher is concerned she has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and possibly, a learning disability.
I am just beginning to establish my approach to patient problems and complex medical illness.
As I make my way through the medical history, the child’s parents tell me they are struggling to make ends meet. Despite their best efforts combined with collections from a nearby food bank, the little girl often goes to school hungry. ...continue reading →
Ryan Meiliis a family physician at the West Side Community Clinic in Saskatoon, Head of the Division of Social Accountability at the University of Saskatchewan, founder of Upstream: Institute for a Healthy Society, and a health policy expert with EvidenceNetwork.ca
In March I attended the Global Symposium on the Role of Physicians and National Medical Associations in Addressing Health Equity and the Social Determinants of Health held in London, England. The meeting was organized by the Canadian, British and World Medical Associations and had, among other goals, an agenda to assist public health pioneer Sir Michael Marmot in making such issues central to his upcoming role as president of the World Medical Association.
I sat down with Sir Michael to explore the stories, the evidence and the politics that come into play when doctors are actors for social change. ...continue reading →