SOC 2390 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Social Safety Net, Health System, Pharmaceutical Industry

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SOC 2390: Lecture Notes: November 26th: Health and Inequality
Health and quality of life
Health is an essential part of the inequality puzzle
Inequality can seriously impact your quality of life
Health issues exacerbate existing conditions of inequality
Inequalities exacerbate exciting health conditions
What makes Canadians sick?
50%--your life
Early childhood development
Social exclusion
Social safety net
Employment/working conditions
Aboriginal status
Safe and nutritious food
Community belonging
25%--your health care
Access to health care
Health care system
Wait times
15%--your biology
10%--your environment
Air quality
Civic infrastructure
Health and Wealth
Recent study: men in the wealthiest 20% of neighbourhoods live 4+ yrs. more than in poorest
20% of neighbourhoods
The cost of socio-economic disparities in the health system=20% of all healthcare spending
1/10 Canadians cannot afford their medical prescriptions; this jeopardizes health outcomes in
often untraceable ways
Only industrialized country with nationalized healthcare with no national pharma care policy
Healthcare needs to take income inequality more seriously!
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Social Determinant of Health
Economic and social conditions that influence the health status of a person or group
Recognizes health and wellbeing is part of a context;
These determinants help to shape health status and disparities between groups
Financial security
Work and work place conditions
Social class
10 Social Determinants to Consider
#1: Income and Social Status
Health status = higher income and social hierarchy
Higher incomes lead to better living conditions
Safe housing
Sufficient good food
Healthiest populations are those who are most prosperous and most equitable in the
distribution of wealth
#2: Social Support Networks
Family/friends community support = better health
Effective responses to stress and support
Buffers health problems
#3: Education
Health status=higher education
Education=higher opportunities
Job security
The more control you have over life circumstances positively influences your health
#4: Employment/Conditions of Work
Unemployment, underemployment, stressful work has health consequences
E.g., depression, anxiety
Jobs, too have health and safety consequences; constructions, manufacturing work stress
Higher skill and better paying jobs usually have fewer occupational risks
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