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HLTD04H3 (42)

urban health chap one

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Health Studies
Toba Bryant

About Canada- health and illness Sept/25/2011 Chapter one notes WHO STAYS HEALTHY AND WHO GETS SICK Health care system= even the best health care system in the world will be only of the ingredients that determine whether your life will be or long or short, healthy or sick, full of fulfillment, or empty with despair (THE HON. ROY ROMANOW, 2009) - We all are going to die one day but the question remains at what age, how much will we suffer and so on. - Staying healthy by avoiding disease and early death is undoubtedly one of the greatest concerns in the lives of all Canadians. - The ways that Canadians keep themselves alive for long and health is that they pay attention to medical treatment more eg. Paying attention to doctors, hospitals and making wise life style choices - Research shows primary factors help shape well being of Canadians, factors that will give long life which are found in actual living conditions that Canadians experience on a daily basis. - Conditions include income and wealth , whether we are employed or not, if so the working conditions we experience , health and social services we receive and our ability to attain high quality education , food and housing among others. - The WHO applies the term self-determinants of health to these health- influencing factors. - It is a term that came along from a past couple of decades it is a term that refers to the social and economic factors that shape the health and incidence of illness between individual and groups of individual. - The Canadian senate has also recognized the importance of social determinants on health (2006) - The quality of these health shaping living conditions is determined by the economic system that we live in and the decisions made by the government and policy makers Economic system= refers to the means by which economic resources are created and distributed, in Canada the distribution is determined by the operation of a market economy and in order to survive the great majority of individuals in our society must participate in that economy. Government= refers to elected legislatures in Ottawa, the provinces and cities that pass laws ad regulations that give direction ad form to public policy. - These public policies can reduce, ignore, or even magnify the social and health inequalities created by the unmanaged operation of the market economy. Policy maker= governments advisor/civil servants who advice the elected members of these governments on what public policies should be create or implemented - Industrialized nations operate with a market economy, governments at the municipal/territorial and federal levels crate and enact policies and laws and regulations that influence how much income Canadians receive through employment, family benefits or social assistance. These structures also influence the quality and availability of affordable housing, the health and social services and recreational opportunities available and even what happens when Canadians lose their jobs during economic downturn such as the one that occurred in 2008 - Areas of public policy making have always been known to influence the quality of life but they are now also being recognized as primary influences upon our health as being among those social determinants of health. - In Canada the strongest supporters of Canadas market economy is the business sector, constantly lobby for policies favoured by owners and managers as opposed to the interests of workers - The business sector also lobbies governments to provide fewer economic supporter and services to citizens - These social determinants are crucial factors in the health of the well being of Canadians - If we can understand how and why they work and how our services and institutions can be improved and how our resources can be equitably distributed we will be able to understand and act to improve the factors that allow us to live longer and healthier lives Historical perspectives on health and illness - In 4 century B.C the Greek philosopher PLATO considered how living conditions- particularly inequality- were shaping health. He basically stated that there should be no inequality no poor and no rich because that could be used in evil ways. - In mid 19 century the German political economist FRIEDRICH ENGELS showed how the adverse living situations of working class people in England led to the infections diseases associated with disease and early death. - In the book the working class in England Engels was prescient in his conclusion. He recognized that unhealthy living conditions, day to the day stress and the adoption of health threatening coping behaviours were the primary causes of disease and early death - around the same time RUDOLPH VIRCHOW= was arguing that health threatening living conditions were rooted in public policy making. He thereby identified the role that politics played in promoting health and preventing disease. - His 1845 report on the Typhus epidemic in upper Silesia ( polish province) = concluded that lack of democracy, feudal practices and unfair tax policies led to the inhabitants poor living conditions , inadequate diet and problems of hygiene and he argued that these conditions fuelled the typhus epidemic - Since then the public health authorities concern with societal conditions and how they shape health and cause illness has never disappeared but it has alwayscompeted with biomedical and more recently healthy lifestyles approaches to disease prevention - A case in the societal causes of health and illness can be traced back to 1980 BLACK REPORT- and the 1987 volume THE HEALTH DIVIDE= which described how despite universal access to health care the lowest occupational status , the Britons had the greatest likelihood of suffering from a wide range of diseases and of dying prematurely from illness or injury at every stage of their lifecycle. - These health difference happened step by step - Professions= best health, skilled workers= moderate health manual labourers= worst health - Therefore the author showed that the differences in health had to do directly to the inequalities of living conditions and not to differences in health attitude or behaviours. - 1998= another UK government came to conclusions about the importance of living conditions as the primary determinants of health Canadian perspective - Over the years Canadians contributed to international knowledge of how living conditions and public policies determine health - 1974= a federal govt. report A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON THE HEALTH OF CANADIANS was the first modern statements to specify that the environment broadly defined played an important role in shaping health. Another Canadian government document ARCH
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