Manitoba ranks low on health report card

OTTAWA, Feb. 12, 2015 /CNW/ - Manitobans give themselves top grades on health. Yet, the province gets a "D" and ranks 23rd out of 29 regions on The Conference Board of Canada's first How Canada Performs: Health report card. This is the first report card to compare Canada, the 10 provinces, three territories, and 15 peer countries.

"While Manitoban's feel good about their health, the province actually ranks near the bottom of the pack when it comes to population health," said Gabriela Prada, Director, Health Innovation, Policy and Evaluation. "Manitoba has the second lowest life expectancy and second highest premature mortality rate among the provinces. Its poor showings on many health indicators show there is much to be done to improve the health and wellness of Manitoba residents."

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Manitoba ranks 23rd among the 29 comparator regions, placing ahead of only one peer country, the United States.
  • Manitoba has the highest infant mortality rate among the provinces.
  • The province scores its top grade, an "A+," on self-reported health.

 

The How Canada Performs: Health report card assesses performance on 11 health status indicators.

Manitoba earns an "A+" on self reported health, with almost 90 per cent of the population reporting their health status as good or better. Yet, the provinces finishes close to the bottom and ranks above only one peer country, the United States, on overall health. The province's lowest grade is its "D-" on infant mortality—it has the highest infant mortality rate among the provinces. The province also does poorly on mortality due to diabetes and premature mortality, scoring "D"s on both.

Manitoba earns "C"s on life expectancy and mortality due to cancer. Manitoba does better on mortality due to heart disease and stroke, respiratory diseases and nervous system diseases, scoring "B" grades on all three indicators. The province also scores "B"s on self-reported mental health and suicides.

Lifestyle factors, such as physical activity, vegetable consumption, smoking and heavy drinking, play an important role in health outcomes. The prevalence of many chronic diseases could be significantly reduced by investing in health promotion and prevention programs.

Poorer health outcomes among Aboriginal populations may be a contributing factor to Manitoba's overall performance. Manitoba and Saskatchewan--which both receive "D"s on the overall report card—have the highest proportion of Aboriginal people among the provinces at over 15 per cent, well above the Canadian average.

How Canada Performs is an ongoing research program at The Conference Board of Canada to help leaders identify relative strengths and weaknesses in Canada's socio-economic performance. Six performance domains are assessed: Economy, Education and Skills, Innovation, Environment, Health, and Society.

Released today, and building on previous How Canada Performs analyses, the Health report card is the third of six to be produced on Canadian and provincial socio-economic performance. The Economy and Education and Skills report cards were published in 2014. The remaining report cards will follow over the year.

This is the first year that provincial and territorial rankings are included in the report cards. Further details, including information on data sources and the methodology behind the rankings, can be found on the How Canada Performs website.

Watch a video commentary by Gabriela Prada, Director, Health Innovation, Policy and Evaluation.

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SOURCE Conference Board of Canada

For further information: Juline Ranger, Associate Director of Communications, The Conference Board of Canada, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 431, E-mail: corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca; or Yvonne Squires, Media Relations, The Conference Board of Canada, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 221, E-mail: corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca


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