Provinces and territories fall short in keeping kids healthy and safe - CPS calls for cohesive public policy to uphold rights of children and youth



    MONTREAL, June 28 /CNW Telbec/ - All provinces and territories need to
make better use of public policy to protect and promote the health and
well-being of Canada's children and youth, according to the Canadian
Paediatric Society. The CPS today released the second edition of a status
report that shows Canadian provinces and territories fall short when it comes
to using legislation and public policy to safeguard their youngest citizens.
    "Currently, there is a piecemeal approach to keeping children and youth
healthy and safe in Canada?and it's putting kids at risk," says Dr. Andrew
Lynk, Chair of the CPS Action Committee for Children and Teens. "After two
years, advances have been made in certain areas but not one province or
territory shines overall."
    Are We Doing Enough? A status report on Canadian public policy and child
and youth health was released today during a news conference in Montreal. It
is the second report in two years and compares provinces and territories in
areas such as health promotion, disease prevention, and injury prevention. It
also includes an assessment of several federal government programs and
policies.
    "Looming mental health issues and the impending shortage of
paediatricians in Canada suggest that the wait time crisis could be just
beginning. This could spell potential disaster for Canadian children and youth
who need essential health care services," says Dr. Lynk, a paediatrician in
Nova Scotia. "Resources targeted toward adult wait time initiatives should not
come at the expense of services for children and youth."
    But provincial and territorial governments alone cannot be held
accountable for this shortfall. The federal government has a critical role to
play and the CPS is calling on national strategies for injury prevention,
mental health and paediatric human resources planning. It also is calling for
a Commissioner for Children and Youth to serve as a voice for all children and
youth at the federal level.
    "In the past two years provinces and territories have made headway in
reducing adolescent smoking rates. We have also seen that national strategies
can be effective in ensuring universal access to childhood vaccines. We now
need to take the health and safety of our kids one step further and develop
national strategies in other key areas," says CPS President Dr. Robert
Issenman.
    The report finds that even though unintentional injury is still the
leading cause of death, morbidity and disability among Canadian children and
youth, provinces and territories could have tougher legislation in place to
keep kids safe from preventable harm.

    Founded in 1922, the Canadian Paediatric Society (www.cps.ca) is a
national advocacy association representing more than 2,500 paediatricians,
paediatric residents and paediatric subspecialists across Canada. It promotes
and advocates for the health needs of children and youth.




For further information:

For further information: Media Inquiries: Olivia Craft, Canadian
Paediatric Society, Cell: (613) 850-4868, media@cps.ca; For the full document,
visit:http://www.cps.ca/English/Advocacy/StatusReport.htm; NOTE: Spokespeople
from each province are available for comment.

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CANADIAN PAEDIATRIC SOCIETY

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