OTTAWA, Feb. 12, 2015 /CNW/ - Newfoundland and Labrador ranks at the bottom-of-the-pack, with poorer health outcomes than the United States, the lowest ranking peer country. The province earns a "D-" in The Conference Board of Canada's first How Canada Performs: Health report card that compares Canada, the 10 provinces, three territories, and 15 peer countries.
"Like most other provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador does well and scores an "A" on self-reported health, which measures how people feel about their own health," said Gabriela Prada, Director, Health Innovation, Policy and Evaluation.
"Unfortunately, the self-reported health of its population is in sharp contrast to other health outcomes. Newfoundland and Labrador ranks behind all other provinces and scores a "D-" overall with poor rankings on mortality due to diabetes, mortality due to cancer and infant mortality."
- Newfoundland and Labrador is the lowest-ranking province and scores a "D-" on the overall health report card.
- Newfoundland and Labrador has poorer health outcomes than the United States, the worst performing peer country.
- The province earns its lowest grades on infant mortality, and mortality due to cancer and diabetes
The How Canada Performs: Health report card assesses performance on 11 health status indicators.
Newfoundland and Labrador scores "C"s and "D"s on most indicators. It scores a "D-" on mortality due to diabetes, with the second highest mortality rate among 29 jurisdictions—only Yukon fares worse on this indicator. The province also has the highest heart disease and stroke and cancer mortality rates amongst all the provinces.
Newfoundland and Labrador earns "C" grades on life expectancy and mortality due to respiratory diseases. The province earns "B"s on premature mortality, suicides, and mortality due to nervous system diseases.
Lifestyle factors play an important role in health outcomes. With the highest shares of heavy drinkers and daily smokers among the provinces, and the highest obesity rate, Newfoundland and Labrador does poorly on key risk factors that lead to chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Health promotion and disease prevention programs to help the province's population adopt healthier lifestyles could help improve the Newfoundland and Labrador's health outcomes.
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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