Poverty is the biggest barrier to health. The World Health Organization, the Canadian Medical Association, the Ontario Medical Association, Ontario College of Family Physicians, Public Health Agency of Canada and many other healthcare organizations have identified poverty as the leading cause of poor health and health inequity.
People with the lowest incomes are twice as likely to use healthcare services as those with the highest incomes. About 20% of total healthcare spending may be due to income inequality [Health Council of Canada, 2010]. By working to eliminate poverty we can achieve better health outcomes for all and reduce health sector costs.
Community Health Centres (CHCs), Aboriginal Health Access Centres (AHACs), Community Family Health Teams (CFHTs) and Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics (NPLCs) see firsthand the impact of poverty on health. By providing services that address social determinants of health, AOHC members work to reduce poverty, mitigate its effects and help people make changes that will lift them out of poverty permanently.
- Ontario Campaign 2000 Report Card on Child & Family Poverty
- 3 minute reflection on the "Eat the Math" Challenge from David Jeffrey, Executive Director of Chigamik Community Health Centre (YouTube)