Social determinants of health no longer an abstract concept

As a medical student at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), I saw first-hand the lives and health-care needs of low-income families in Toronto

Social determinants of health no longer an abstract conceptAs a medical student at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), I saw first-hand the lives and health-care needs of low-income families in Toronto. Seeing those families helped me recognize how societal factors affect their well-being. In the social paediatrics course I was taking, I worked to improve the health of children of young parents,…

Finally time for a Guaranteed Annual Income

But what exactly is a Guaranteed Annual Income?

Finally time for a Guaranteed Annual IncomeCould the Guaranteed Annual Income – once considered a radical notion – now be an idea whose time has come? The Dutch city of Utrecht recently announced it is starting an experiment to determine whether introducing a basic income produces a more effective society. Closer to home, Joseph Ceci, Alberta's new finance minister, proposed a…

The relationship between poverty and health in Canada

Low income limits an individual’s opportunity to achieve their full health potential because it limits choices

The relationship between poverty and health in CanadaWith a federal election on the horizon, certain high level policy topics are bound to make the headlines beyond the personalities of the political leaders: the economy, energy prices, jobs prospects, even climate change. But what seems surprisingly absent from the political hustings so far has been a fulsome discussion of the health of everyday…

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…

Growing inequality poses a health risk to all of us

Addressing the upstream determinants of health can improve both the economy and the wellbeing of Canadians

Growing inequality poses a health risk to all of usCertain Canadian commentators are advancing a strange critique of public health, suggesting that physicians and public health experts, charged with caring for the health of Canadians, should not concern themselves with the root causes of illness and stick to a narrow range of health interventions. Fortunately, Canadian health experts have a broader and more complete…

Something’s wrong with capitalism

The most successful economies today are also the most indebted

Something’s wrong with capitalismIs it just me, or does the fabric of global capitalism seems to be unraveling? It seems the sovereign debt dragon was just sleeping and has now roared out of it’s den once again and is starting to snort fire all the way from Greece in the Euro zone, through the U.S. budget debates, to…

Cure for Cuba’s illness lies in open markets

The absence of a free market at home and injured trade abroad has been costly for the Cuban people

Cure for Cuba’s illness lies in open marketsThe pre-Christmas announcement by U.S. President Barack Obama that the United States would re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba will reignite a number of debates. One will be about the cause of Cuban poverty over the past 56 years. While some will blame communism; others the American trade embargo, the correct answer is “both.” For those…
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