Poverty = Ill Health – A Closer Look at a Losing Equation

Dr. Gary Bloch is coming to BC on September 23rd with a prescription for health – “increase income for those living in poverty”. Dr. Bloch is a family physician from Toronto who has been sounding the message loud and clear – his low income patients are disproportionately affected by chronic disease.

Dr. Bloch is bringing his message to BC through a series of speaking engagements, including a webinar hosted by BCAHL – Poverty: Health Hazard for All – Impacts, Solutions and Strategy on September 23 at 3 pm PDT.

This message isn’t a new one, in fact a number of organizations in BC, including the BC Alliance for Healthy Living, have identified the health inequities that are evident in our population.

The difference is proximity – Dr. Bloch is putting his beliefs into his medical practice. He asks his patients about their economic circumstances and provides budget counselling and other economic advice along with his medical expertise. His experiences have led him to sound the alarm beyond his own practice.

The general public needs to know the facts. Including that the impacts of poverty on health directly affect 15% of the population of British Columbia, with the poorest 20% having a 60% greater rate of two or more chronic health conditions, when compared to the richest 20%.

Inequality also negatively affects the health of everyone through the breakdown of social cohesion. The webinar speakers will provide some ideas on how to connect the dots to increase public awareness of the realities of health inequities in BC.

The webinar is part of a BC Tour with Dr. Gary Bloch, which is the launch of Poverty-Free BC: Speaker Series on Impacts and Solutions. The tour is sponsored by the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition, the Public Health Association of BC, Community Legal Assistance Society, Raise the Rates, BC Alliance on Mental Health/Illness and Addictions, SFU Centre for Dialogue, REACH Community Health Centre, BC College of Family Physicians, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC, Surrey Board of Trade, First Call: Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition and Vancouver Coastal Health.

Featured on CBC’s The Current and in the Globe and Mail, Dr. Bloch is a strong advocate for addressing the social determinants of health through primary care and political advocacy. Come and hear Dr. Bloch talk about his experiences and ideas for making BC a healthier place for everyone.

Post a comment