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Race is a determinant of health in Canada

Race is a determinant of health in Canada

I point us to a growing body of literature on how social and economic factors influence both the individual’s health as well as the health status of a population. It is the inherent power that controls resources, the physical environment and to shape health policy. Policies relating to social equality are poor cousins to efficiency and reforms that are part of a neoliberal and neoconservative agenda. This understanding of citizenship makes us recognise justice or injustice not only as moral reasoning but as the experiences of social relationships, transnational organisations, and the power of the state. Different patterns of inequality are present in our society with varying degrees of concerns from civil society, those effected or the state. Class, gender and culture are not the only determinants of power. Race also regulates relationships. In understanding health, social status indicators point to disparities that influence the human body. However, change is slow in rectifying the inequalities that lead to illness and early mortality for some in our society.  Every level of government ‘throws’ millions of dollars at various race problems or health crisis like SARS when it occurs in our society with little accountability or an actual action plan. When a crisis takes place in, impoverish neighbourhoods in Canada, the scrutiny of media and the public forces a formal reaction usually tied to funds being available from various levels of government to help solve the crisis without valid input from those affected. The Canadian Press (June 16, 2007) reported that regarding prescription cost there is a widening gap between the wealthy and the have-nots. If we place this as an issue, relating it to justice, it points us to the assumption that everyone in society should have economic resources to meet their basic needs. However, because of structural inequalities, the poor are getting poorer.

Understanding the social determinants of health shows us how to think critically about a better future and to look at the systemic problems and the structural problems that currently exists. Economically, powerful interest groups lobby governments and policies are made in their interest. As we examine the allocation of resources in Canada, we need to consider the lack of power of those groups at the bottom of our social hierarchy. One group furthers their interest by lobbying politicians’ while the other group hears political rhetoric that lacks accountability. Health Canada maintains information on the health of our population. Together with other studies (such as Kawachi et. al., 1997, 1999; Siegler 2003; Rapheal 2004) as well as the latest study on the homeless (Vincent, 2006), we have more than enough data to know if basic societal standards are met. Like all policy issues, we need action, not more studies.

Social justice is achieved when a baby, no matter who takes herhim home, has the same chances in life as the next infant. To a great part, illness, death, health and wellbeing are socially produced and are intertwined with competition for resources. We know from the Toronto Star that the Homeless census found 5,052 individuals in Toronto on the streets. One of the study’s disturbing findings is that the aboriginal community is overrepresented among the homeless. Aboriginals account for about 1 percent of Toronto’s population but comprise 26 percent of the homeless living outdoors. As well, they were also homeless longer, which is five years compared to about three years for the homeless population as a whole. (Vincent, Jun. 24, 2006). I argue the social determinants of health are an effective roadmap to recognise and identify social injustice within our society. When we review this roadmap, we find as in a society that race and racism are left outside the current framework and like society the dominant group controls what should be considered as important within this area of research. This attitude around race and racism leads to a lack of policy initiatives and resources in the field of race and health.

References:

Rapheal, Dennis (2004) “Social Determinants of Health: Canadian Perspectives.”  Toronto. Canadian Scholars’ Press Inc.

Vincent, Donovan. (2006) “Homeless Census finds 5, 052 homeless.” The Toronto Star Jun. 24. http://www.thestar.com

 

Merle Jacobs

From Rangoon to London then to Canada, now home. Professor at York U in Toronto. Equity Studies.

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I am a bit older

Life is still good as a spoiled CAT.
I was reading my last blog and felt upset. The poor little cat next door – name Cat died December 2015.
I am not surprised as she was always outdoors and that they say makes your life very short. I am now 16 years a bit overweight but otherwise healthy.
Looking at what to do these days – I think I will follow the humans and start writing my life story. What do you think? PussyCat Tails?? Oh no –
not after Trump and what they tweet about P***y
Must stop taking politics now as it is a mess in the USA. Canada has a pretty boy who is getting on my nerves. I sleep when the news is on these days.
Well I am off to bed now in the middle of the day – the news is on

 

Merle Jacobs

From Rangoon to London then to Canada, now home. Professor at York U in Toronto. Equity Studies.

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Myanmar / Burma and the Anglo Burmese – who are they?

The year went fast and tweets filled my life. 140 words. Now that I am back researching and working on data  – I feel alive.

Asking all individuals from Burma / Myanmar who are Anglo-Burmans to fill out this survey.

The term Anglo-Burmese refers to Eurasians of European and indigenous peoples of Burma from 1826. This group can be viewed as a distinct community. After 1937, included Anglo-Indian residents in Burma whose children were born in Burma.
The European element included, aside from the English, other European influence, chiefly Greeks, the Dutch, Scandinavians, Irish (who left their country due to the Great Famine), Germans, Austrians, the French, the Portuguese, Italians, and Russians. Armenians, Syrian, Egyptian,s and the Anglo-Indian were also represented among Anglo-Burmans as well as a mix of Baghdadi Jews.
Click on the link below and you can fill out this long 🙂 survey.


Merle Jacobs

From Rangoon to London then to Canada, now home. Professor at York U in Toronto. Equity Studies.

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The brain drain of the Caribbean trained nurses:

By Derrick Miller Our quiet need:   The role of a nurse is equally important as a good doctor, education, clean criminal record, and a productive safe community. These caretakers and medicine givers are eyes and ears of doctors, from preparing a…

Merle Jacobs

From Rangoon to London then to Canada, now home. Professor at York U in Toronto. Equity Studies.

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How Mainstream Media Fakes The News – Behind The Scenes

“How Mainstream Media Fakes The News – Behind the Scenes” Video Originally Uploaded by Killing Time, Published February 25, 2014. (For more insightful information, please follow the links in the video’s description box.)

Merle Jacobs

From Rangoon to London then to Canada, now home. Professor at York U in Toronto. Equity Studies.

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