Skip to content

Ontario’s health crisis!

9-2-2009

Poverty tied to bad health, rising costs as economy skids

Chronic and severe health conditions hit poor Ontarians at rates that are far higher than those of average Ontarians, according to new research released today. Diabetes, heart disease, chronic bronchitis and mood disorders are found at rates as much as 4.5 times higher among social assistance recipients than the non-poor, according to the study by the Community Social Planning Council of Toronto, the University of Toronto’s Social Assistance in the New Economy Project, and the Wellesley Institute.
“Ontario’s faltering economy is putting more and more Ontarians at risk of falling into poverty and ill health. The upcoming Ontario budget is the time to stop further deterioration of Ontario’s health status and curtail a rising health care bill by investing in the poverty reduction strategy,” says
Ernie Lightman, study co-author and Principal Investigator of the Social Assistance in the New Economy Project at the University of Toronto.
The study, entitled, Sick and Tired: The Compromised Health of Social Assistance Recipients and the Working Poor in Ontario, examined health and income data from across the province and found that people on social assistance had worse health on 38 of 39 indicators when compared with the
non-poor. Perhaps most distressing, the study found that one in ten social assistance recipients considered suicide in the 12-month period preceding the study. Suicide attempts were 10 times higher for social assistance recipients compared to the non-poor.
Beth Wilson, study co-author and Senior Researcher at the Community Social Planning Council of Toronto, says “Even after taking into account a long list of factors that affect health – education, disability status, smoking, physical exercise and many more – living in poverty and on social
assistance are still very powerful factors in the poor health of Ontarians.”
The study recommends that the provincial government make a major financial commitment to its poverty reduction plan in the next provincial budget as a key to keeping Ontarians healthy.
“Sick and Tired doesn’t just offer a terrible catalogue of the health crisis being generated by deep and persistent poverty, but it also sets out a pragmatic and effective set of solutions,” says Michael Shapcott, Director of Community Engagement at the Wellesley Institute. “The good news is that these solutions will not only help the individuals, but they will also help build
stronger and healthier communities and will deliver a substantial economic benefit at a time when politicians are scrambling to respond to the growing economic crisis.

http://socialplanningtoronto.org/reports/sick-and-tired-report-released/

The study, entitled, Sick and Tired: The Compromised Health of Social Assistance Recipients and the Working Poor in Ontario, examined health and income data from across the province and found that people on social assistance had worse health on 38 of 39 indicators when compared with the non-poor. Perhaps most distressing, the study found that one in ten social assistance recipients considered suicide in the 12-month period preceding the study. Suicide attempts were 10 times higher for social assistance recipients compared to the non-poor.

Download the full Sick and Tired Full report (PDF, 3.7Mb)

Read the simplified backgrounder of key findings and recommendations (PDF)

Read the press release (.Doc)

Read the article in the Toronto Star

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: