Wednesday, May 27, 2009

WHO Strongly Reaffirms the Values and Principles of Primary Health Care

In two resolutions issued today, the World Health Organization is “strongly reaffirming the values and principles of primary health care, including equity, solidarity, social justice, universal access to services, multisectoral action, decentralization and community participation as the basis for strengthening health systems….”

(1) WHO Resolution on Primary Health Care and Health Systems Strengthening
(2) WHO Resolution on Reducing Health Inequities through Action for the Social Determinants of Health

Friday, May 22, 2009

From Knowledge to Action for Health Equity

Dr. David Butler Jones, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, used the opportunity of his first Report on the State of Public Health in Canada to call for action on the social determinants of health, and the patterns of health inequality that shape the distribution of sickness in Canada. While the majority of Canadians enjoy good health, many face structural barriers that make it profoundly difficult to live healthy lives. As David Butler Jones points out, these populations are "more likely to need the health-care system for what are largely preventable health issues".

In a brilliant article published last month, health policy researcher Dennis Raphael suggests that although the social determinants of health are widely acknowledged in Canada, actual public health activities to strengthen the determinants of health are "sporadic at best". Ontario's growing system of Community Health Clinics offer one example of this sort of practice, and there are other valuable examples to learn from Europe, Latin America, and elsewhere in the world. This work reaffirms the need to transform our knowledge of the production of health and sickness into public health practices that actively enable people to live healthy lives. Equally important though, is the political task this work suggests: in a setting where evidence is clear and action is slow to follow, it's clear that evidence is not a substitute but a basis for politics and public action.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Health for All: Health Care Provision and Direct Action Politics Panel

[Click above for more information, or email]

7-9pm Friday May 22, 2009, Ryerson University, Thomas
Lounge, 63 Gould Street
, Toronto, Canada.

Join Students for Medicare and No One is Illegal as we bring together health professionals, organizing alongside their communities in the fight for health for all!

Panelists include:
-Bethany Schroeder, Executive Director, Ithaca Free Clinic, Ithaca, New York
-Roland Wong, M.D., Toronto
-Samir Shaheen Hussain, M.D, Solidarity Across Borders Montreal
-Cathy Crowe, R.N., Toronto Disaster Relief Committee, Toronto

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Crisis Brings Opportunity: Building a Global Health Workforce

Crisis Brings Opportunity, by Robert Huish

"Amidst the current global financial crisis we face an enormous global health crisis that has left close to a billion people without any access to affordable health care. The inequality between those who can afford care and those who go without has never been worse. Consider that while Canada struggles to improve its ratio of one doctor for every 440 people, Malawi has only one physician for every 50,000 people. Despite predictions that global health inequity will worsen in a time of economic peril, we actually stand in front of a great opportunity to make the world healthier for all....A global health-care workforce offering much-needed care for billions, even if charging only pennies per patient, musters more economic potential, humanity and long-term strategic interests than any products currently on offer from Wall Street or Detroit."