The opportunity for health begins in our families, neighborhoods, schools and jobs.
Access to income, affordable housing, healthy food, education, early childhood development, and recreational opportunities influence our ability to make healthy choices and ultimately the state of our physical and mental health as well as life expectancy.
Despite BC’s excellent average health status, there is still a large gap between the healthiest British Columbians and those who suffer from ill health.
BC data shows that Aboriginal peoples, immigrants, those with mental health issues and other low income British Columbians are more likely to have poorer health.
The stress and lack of resources from living on low income makes it extremely difficult for people to live healthy lives, putting them at a higher risk for lung and heart diseases, cancer and diabetes.
BCHLA’s position paper, Healthy Futures for BC Families highlights policy options that address the underlying social determinants of health. We continue to advance policies that give every British Columbian the chance to be healthy.
BCHLA recommends policies in the following areas:
- A Whole of Government, Whole of Society Approach
- Disadvantaged Populations
- Early Childhood Development and Care
- Food Security
- Healthy Schools, Education and Literacy
- Income Security
- Physical Activity and Supportive Environments
- The provincial government develop a comprehensive, cross-government action plan with specific targets to address health inequities arising from socio-economic disadvantage.
- The provincial government review policies throughout government with respect to their impact on the reduction of inequities in health and strengthening chronic disease prevention and that these activities be included in all Ministry Service Plans and be evaluated.
- The Ministry of Health Services invest in population based health promotion and disease prevention strategies by raising public health funding to 6% of the total health budget from its current funding of approximately 3%.
- The provincial government engage with other sectors of society – non-profit organizations, business, academia, labour, media, other levels of government and agencies – in developing a coordinated and integrated ‘whole of society’ approach to healthy living.