Health Care in Canada: What Makes Us Sick

Throughout the winter and spring of 2013, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) conducted wide-ranging consultations to gather input on Canadians’ views on the social determinants of health. Public town hall meetings were held in Winnipeg, Hamilton, Charlottetown, Calgary, Montréal and St. John’s and were accompanied by an online consultation at http://www.healthcaretransformation.ca.

The process was framed around four questions aimed a determining what factors beyond the health care system influence health, what initiatives offset the negative impact of these determinants, what governments and health care providers should be doing to address these social determinants, and how equal access for all to the health care system can be achieved. In every phase of the consultation, four main social determinants of health were identified by participants:

  • income
  • housing
  • nutrition and food security
  • early childhood development
    (from the Summary).

The full report is available in PDF at http://www.cma.ca/multimedia/CMA/Content_Images/Inside_cma/Advocacy/HCT/What-makes-us-sick_en.pdf