Leading health policy experts, community representatives and health researchers from across Canada have ratified the Toronto Charter for a Healthy Canada, written by York Professor Dennis Raphael (left).
Citing mounting evidence that the root sources of health and the causes of illness are social and economic, the group urges funding for social housing and childcare and the creation of a task force to oversee Canadian progress on population health.
“It must be time to provide safe, affordable housing and quality childcare to Canadian families,” says Raphael, communications coordinator with the School of Health Policy and Management, Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies. “No longer can we expect spending on illness care to bring us better health; it is time to get our basics right,” he says, adding his voice to more than 400 others to declare the need for national housing and childcare programs.
Among some of its recommendations, the Toronto Charter asks that Canada’s federal and provincial/territorial governments immediately address the sources of health and the root causes of illness by matching the $1.5 billion agreed to in the Health Accord for the Diagnostic/Medical Equipment Fund and allocating this amount towards two essential determinants of health for children and families: affordable, safe housing; and a universal system of high-quality educational childcare.
For more details visit the Media Relations Web site at http://www.yorku.ca/ycom/release/archive/021103-2.htm, and to read the charter itself, go to http://www.atkinson.yorku.ca/SHPM.