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 →
Although physicians generally recognize that social determinants influence the health of their patients, many are unsure how they can intervene. Dr. Anne Andermann, Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at McGill University in Montreal and founding director of the CLEAR Collaboration, discusses how physicians and allied health care workers can address social determinants in their day-to-day practice. She wrote a review article (subscription required) published in the CMAJ.
More than 800 000 Canadians access food banks each month, and no province or territory is unaffected by food insecurity. As citizens of one of the wealthiest countries in the world, Canadians should not have to struggle to put healthy meals on their families’ tables — families living on minimum wage should not have to go into debt to benefit from a nutritious diet. We tend to concern ourselves with these issues during traditional “giving” holidays, particularly Thanksgiving and Christmas. As a result, donations to food banks hit a lull during the summer, which unfortunately coincides with increased demand due to children no longer being enrolled in school-based meal programs. We need to be concerned year-round. ...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
Among the attendees was Canadian Medical Association president Dr. Chris Simpson. I sat down with Dr. Simpson to explore the stories, the evidence and the politics that come into play when doctors are actors for social change. ...continue reading →