Inner city doctor talks about wealth, health study
The less money you make, the more health problems you have says a poll released today by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA).
"If you don't have money, you don't live in a decent home, you might not be able to afford healthy food," said Dr. Ryan Meili, a doctor in inner city Saskatoon and author of A Healthy Society: how a focus on health can revive Canadian democracy.
Meili, speaking from Yellowknife at the CMA meeting, said talking about how to fix the problem of how wealth equals health is on the agenda.
"This is a radical departure in some ways for the CMA to really be focusing on this, but it's I think a departure that's very much in line with the evidence and the needs of our patients."
As a doctor, he said he sees people often with a low income and resulting health problems including: addictions, diabetes, HIV and tuberculosis.
"When we're in a country as wealthy and a country that thinks of itself as so generous ... to see people falling through the cracks, to see people whose lives are really, really bad and often way too short because they've fallen through those cracks is incredibly frustrating," said Meili.
But, he pointed out fixing this problem is not easy task.
"We need to look at various ways of sharing the wealth. I suppose a sort of dangerous thing to talk about in some circles, but unless you're actually using society's resources to better everyone's lives, the result is that everybody's lives suffer."
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