- John Ross makes the case for a focus on the social determinants of health in all kinds of public policy-making:
Many studies show that if you work long hours in low-paying jobs and live paycheque to paycheque, constant life stresses have far more negative health effects than the causes listed on public health posters.- Meanwhile, the Toronto Star calls for a concerted effort at all levels of government to address the needs of precarious workers. And Lois Weiner sees the Chicago Teachers Union's strike as an important step in challenging fundamentally unfair laws designed to silence workers.
Life for many Canadians is more complicated than recommending a “healthy lifestyle.”
Society broadly needs to change the circumstances for all members of our society to enable people to have options and live differently. In our small province we could actually achieve this.
Donald Berwick, former CEO of the Institutes of Healthcare Improvement, said, “Any healthcare funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized and humane must — must — redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and the less fortunate. Excellent health care is by definition re-distributional.”
How about this radical suggestion?
Start spending proportionally less on disease care and more on addressing the inequities of the determinants of health (and disease)?
‘Quality health care’ should be access to equitable income distribution, education, employment, food and housing security. That is not currently the case.
- Scott Vrooman points out that for all the bleating over relatively small budget numbers, there are far more important deficits that we should be addressing - including the glaring gap between any progress to limit greenhouse gas emissions and the steps needed to avoid catastrophic climate change. And Robert DeConto and David Pollard find that the feedback loops created by a warming planet in fact look to be substantially worse than typically assumed.
- Solomon Israel canvasses how the system of low-threshold arrests and peace bonds set up under Bill C-51 (and seemingly to be left in place by the Libs) raises severe civil rights concerns without making anybody safer.
- Finally, Jennifer Ditchburn writes about the future of open government in Canada. And Mike de Souza catches the National Energy Board deleting a sensitive internal e-mail.