Three Ideas to Improve Canadian Healthcare

“Health care is one thing that affects health, but there are many more powerful forces at play in determining whether or not people grow up and age in good health.”

Dr. Danielle Martin has three big ideas to improve Canadian health care, and they have 'upstream-thinking' written all over them. Have a listen to the video below, and let us know what upstream ideas YOU have to improve our ability to develop healthy societies. 

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Refugee decision a victory for compassion and common sense in Canadian health care

The latest blog from Upstream Director Ryan Meili on recent court decisions about refugee health care.

 

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When Housing Meets Health: Ontario's housing crisis is also a health crisis

Here's a great article that's already been getting a lot of attention this week. Dr. Stephen Hwang and Dr. Kwame McKenzie provide a compelling argument for the link between our access to safe & affordable housing and our health. Housing is a social determinant of health, and these authors are calling for upstream action on housing in Toronto, Ontario, where "close to 78,000 households are waiting for social housing, with almost 160,000 waiting Ontario-wide (that’s 3 per cent of all households)."

 Read on!

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Let's talk... Moving upstream

We are loving the upstream language we are seeing over at the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health. This great organization is committed to equipping the Canadian public health community with the resources and knowledge they need to address the social determinants of health. Take a look below at their 'Let's Talk' series, featuring a call to move upstream! 

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Good for the economy... but is it good for us?

Yes, Kinder Morgan, pipeline spills are good for the economy. So is cancer, and so are natural disasters like last year’s Calgary flood. But this is no way to measure human progress.

So how can we transition to an economy that prioritizes not just commercial goods, but human and environmental good?

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Upstream Thinking for GenSqueeze Problems

Younger working-age Canadians are being squeezed. Our incomes are lower than a generation ago. We’re struggling to adapt to a changing job market. Many costs of living, and of starting a family, are higher. And we are feeling under-represented in our politics. (see here for details)

It is these challenges that have inspired Generation Squeeze – a pan-Canadian movement that aims to bring people of all ages together to create a better intergenerational deal for Canadians.

The thorny question is, how can we fix these big, complex and deeply rooted intergenerational problems in our social and economic structures?

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What happens when low-wage workers suddenly get a living wage?

When we start thinking health in upstream terms, we can see the implementation of a living wage as a long-term investment in the well-being of our communities! Read about the impact of a living wage for 5 of the 1,400 World Resort Casino employees who went from earning $10 an hour to $20+ overnight. 

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NFLD's Food Insecurity Dramatically Reduced

A new study has reported fantastic news from Newfoundland-Labrador! The province is now experiencing the lowest levels of food insecurity of any province in the country, with particular progress seen among those receiving income assistance. This shifts correlates directly with the implementation of NFL's poverty reduction plan. This is wonderful 'upstream' news, as we know that access to affordable, healthy food is an essential component to our health. 

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Healthy, Wealthy & Why: The social determinants of health, explained

The notion that health and illness are determined by life circumstances is not new, and in recent years this idea has become a staple of health theory and teaching.

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Rx: Bike-Share Membership

Upstream thinking means considering the key ingredients of healthy communities, and preventing illness at its source. Here's a great example! Boston docs are now able to prescribe 5$ bike-share memberships to low-income patients in need.

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Connect upstream.