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Health Sciences 1002A/B Chapter Notes -International Standard Book Number, Making Money, Viking Press

Health Sciences
Course Code
HS 1002A/B
Jessica Polzer

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Michael Hua 250670803 Barbara Watson
Health and Wealth
The statement, “people with more money live longer than those who are poor because
rich people can afford better health care services” is inadequate. It leaves me to believe that
income and health care are the only things that determine one’s health. An individual’s income is
one of the social determinants of health that contributes to a person’s own health and has a
variety of effects on an individual. Social determinants of health can be defined as the “economic
and social conditions that influence the health of individuals, communities, and jurisdictions as a
whole” (Raphael, 2004). The knowledge of the social determinants of health has gone through a
vast amount of changes in perspectives as to how society decides to define health. My
experiences and readings thus far have not only expanded my understanding of health, but also
the economic and social conditions affecting health.
From my own personal experiences, I have seen differences between the socioeconomic
classes of individuals and their ability to access healthcare. Due to the fact that I am Vietnamese,
I have visited Vietnam numerous times and have seen how individuals have lived a very
unhealthy lifestyle such as eating the wrong foods and lack of exercising. Before moving to
Canada, my parents lived in Vietnam and described how most individuals who were always
outside on the streets were often sick and did not know how to take care of themselves because
of their lack of knowledge of health. At first I believed that this was due to the lifestyle choices
they made, however, studies have shown that these lifestyle choices do not go far in determining
health status in contrast to the impact of the social determinants of health. In addition to these
studies, when I recently visited Vietnam, I saw that the environment they were living in reflected
their income level and health status. According to Raphael (2004), “socioeconomic status and
HS1002: Assignment 1 Page 1
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