Tag Archives: public health

(1066) Food security & basic income

shopping-cart-in-the-snow
Good news, even as winter approaches: in 2017 Ontario can expect to see a basic income pilot project.  Hopefully that means that Canada’s largest province is on the path to adopting a benefit regime that will truly secure its people against poverty.  We’ve been sold on the idea of a universal right to an income for as long as we can remember.  It seems to us that nearly every form of social difficulty could be improved upon if nobody in this society was below a certain level.  On the other hand, we could indeed be looking at yet another ‘cycle of consultation’.  You know, another rationalised round of reportage, fact gathering and public hearings that  kick the issue of poverty down the road and toward the next election.  Public pressure might make all the difference, though.
Extra bonus: it would seem a good way to innoculate our society against the rise of Trumpist-style influences, a comprehensive ticket to change for the better.  This winter thoughts of a basic income will be keeping the staff at suburban-poverty.com feeling warm inside.
Basic income pilot consultation
ontario.ca
Basic income can reduce food insecurity and improve health
University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine

image: chuddlesworth via Flickr/CC

(1065) Gendering life expectancy [Study]

longevity
We all love life, right?  That’s why longevity is such a sensible measure of the quality of life in a given place.  Gaps in longevity data emerge into view quickly thanks to such things as gender and occupation.  Ideally, a well off society should find these gaps moderate and when in the right frame of mind it might even challenge these gaps, seek to close them up.  A new medical study reinforces our understanding of the role of income in determining longevity with the finding that in Canada high income men are starting to outlive low income women.  The incomes of Canada’s richer males is more powerful than the natural characteristic of women to outlive men.
Did you just say ‘holy shit’?  We did.
High income men now outliving low income women, study finds
globeandmail.com

image: Insomnia Cured Here via Flickr/CC

(1034) Ontario to cut hospital parking rates

6180023693_f35fb1e0e1_z
Visiting someone in a hospital by car, let alone attending one for health services over time, was starting to involve some rather stiff user fees for parking.  In the world of mandatory driving and low incomes, the lifting of this burden is a good thing.
Ontario making hospital parking more affordable. Rates cut in half for frequent visitors to hospitals
ontario.ca

image: Alex Block via Flickr/CC

(1015) Depressed, anxious workers and the bottom line [Conference Board report]

happy worker
Anxiety and depression cost Canada’s economy in a big way.  Lost hours and lost productivity is extracted from reinvestment in businesses, and from profits and wages.

Employers, please wake up to this $50 billion dollar thing.

Depression, anxiety cost Canadian economy billions, Conference Board says. ‘There is a gain for the employer in acting … on mental health in the workplace’
cbc.ca/news

 

(1010) Homeless & expecting

ph1
At one time, you could be forgiven for thinking of homelessness as mainly about men living rough and drinking.  By the 1980s the definition of homelessness was clearly more complex.  It seems just about anyone is at risk, including in Toronto in 2016, pregnant women.

Homeless and pregnant in Toronto: one woman tells her story. About 120 homeless women give birth in Toronto every year. The challenge is how to help them
cbc.ca

(1002) Don T & US child poverty

Donald Trump billboard
We keep hearing about all this generalized American anger.  Swathes of the population there are feeling filthy about the way things have turned out after decades of neoconservative nonsense from both sides of a two-party federal system.  This generalized anger in turn explains the success of Mr. Orangeface Clownpants.  Trump has been able to say pretty much any nasty-ass thing he wants to say and still get ahead because of the funk and fury the American voter has sunk into and seethes with respectively.  Rage serves to peg in place political illiteracy these days.  Hillary Clinton offers herself as the calming Mommy to the tantrum-throwing voter and so she benefits from the unfocused rage as well.
So, how about you Americans focus a little.  Dare we even suggest an apoplectic unity on behalf of the children who will someday inherit your republic?  A good starting point would be this kick in the head of a paper from March this year.  Half of all children in America are in poverty or pretty damn near it.  Half of them!  What does the lackluster alumni of US federal political party leadership have to say about this topic during the weirdest of elections ever?  Looks to be pretty much nothing.
Poverty and child health in the United States
(abstract & link to .pdf file)
Council on Community Pediatrics
Why facts don’t matter to Trump’s supporters
washingtonpost.com

image: Thomas Hawk via Flickr/CC

(989) Aging in place, kinda winging it

station wagon” …car-centric suburban neighbourhoods with multi-level homes and scarce sidewalks are a poor match for people who can’t climb stairs or drive a car.”
Here’s a feature that profiles a boomer-age man in a subdivision dating from what appears to date to the 1970s through 1990s.  Like millions of other people in the United States and Canada his mind is turning to the latter stages of life when such things as income and mobility go decline as health and social services needs go up.  Such a great turning is bound to influence our communities in every possible way.  Some thought and planning has gone into this realigning of things but we get the feeling it isn’t yet enough.  This item does a very nice job of setting out the basic proposition with a brace of statistics and writerly turns of phrase.  Recommended reading.
Many boomers in denial over problems they face growing old in suburbs
miamiherald.com