OTTAWA, March 18, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Medical Association (CMA)
today announced the release of a paper outlining ways front-line
physicians can help level the playing field and ensure that more of
their patients can achieve good health. Physicians and Health Equity: Opportunities in Practice outlines seven steps physicians can take to help their patients counter
social or economic factors that are barriers to good health. The paper
was written as part of the CMA's ongoing efforts to drive
transformation in Canadian health care.
"As physicians, we're not the experts in housing, early childhood
development, income equality or any of the other social determinants of
health, but we see every day the impact of these factors on the health
of our patients," Dr. Anna Reid, CMA president, said. "If we want our
patients to truly be well, we sometimes need to look beyond their
symptoms and consider the broader context of their lives."
Based on interviews with physicians from across Canada identified as
leaders in health equity in their communities, the paper lists
practical ways doctors can tear down the barriers to health equity.
They range from offering flexible office hours and a convenient office
location to helping link patients with supportive community programs
"We know that health is linked to income and that the poorer you are,
the more likely you are to suffer heart disease, mental illness and
other major diseases," Dr. Reid said. "Physicians, other health care
providers, all of us, need to do what we can to can help turn the tide
toward health equity - program by program, policy by policy, patient by
The CMA paper is consistent with the findings of a report by the
University College London (UCL) Institute of Health Equity in England.
Dr. Reid is a featured speaker today at a British Medical Association
conference as part of the public release of the UCL report.
In addition, the CMA's National Dialogue on Health Care Transformation
is focusing on the social determinants of health.
Online (http://dialogue.healthcaretransformation.ca/en/) and at a series of public town hall meetings across Canada, the CMA is
asking Canadians about the impact of the social determinants of health
on their lives and what actions can be taken to mitigate them. The next
town hall takes place in Charlottetown on March 28.
Physicians and Health Equity: Opportunities in Practice can be found at: http://healthcaretransformation.ca/hct-knowledge-centre/
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian
physicians. Founded in 1867, the CMA is a voluntary professional
organization representing more than 77,000 of Canada's physicians and
comprising 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and 51
national medical organizations. CMA's mission is to serve and unite the
physicians of Canada and be the national advocate, in partnership with
the people of Canada, for the highest standards of health and health
SOURCE: Canadian Medical Association
For further information:
Senior Advisor, Communications and Public Outreach
Tel.: 800-663-7336 / 613-731-8610 ext. 1266