We cannot afford the cost of ignoring poverty

Taking care of those in need now will cost us less in the long run

We cannot afford the cost of ignoring povertyAs a family doctor who works largely with people living on low incomes, poverty is at the root of many of the illnesses I treat. And, a dozen or so years into my career, my workload shows no sign of easing up. A shortsighted perspective would say, “Good for me.” The Cost of Poverty in…

Never too late for low-income Canadians to file their taxes

Those earning $40,000 a year or less may be eligible for a range of benefits

Never too late for low-income Canadians to file their taxesCanadians would like to see an end to poverty. One organization, using the social benefits system, has found a way to get $21 million into the pockets of 9,000 low-income individuals in Winnipeg. The Community Financial Counselling Services (CFCS), an organization that helps low-income people file their tax returns. They have been doing this important…

How doctors can help tackle their patients’ poverty

. . . without leaving the doctor’s office

How doctors can help tackle their patients’ povertyBy Gary Bloch University of Toronto and Sharon Macdonald University of Manitoba Can a question asked in a doctor’s office contribute to ending poverty for patients and their families? This is what we asked ourselves 10 years ago, as we set out to convince health providers to tackle poverty. There were two factors that pushed…

Doing your taxes good for your health

Taking advantage of tax credits can go a long way to making things easier for low-income Canadians

Doing your taxes good for your healthTax season is upon us and my practice is humming. I am not an accountant, I am a family doctor. My patients are not bank executives, they are largely people who live in poverty, many of whom are homeless and on social assistance. Yet I have set out to remind my patients - each and…