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2016 Motions

 

PHPC Submitted three motions to the 2016 Great Canadian Healthcare Debate, part of the National Health Leadership Conference and focused on three issues:

Click here for more information on the Debate and the selection process.

Indigenous Health

Co-sponsored with the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada

Authors: Aamir Bharmal, Thomas Piggott, Joel Kettner & Alika Lafontaine

Resolved, that healthcare leaders support the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, with particular attention to countering all levels of racism and improving the health of Indigenous peoples through the enhancement of accreditation standards for all healthcare organizations.  These standards will require mandatory and transparent periodic audits, carried out in collaborative governance with Indigenous health leaders, to identify and address mechanisms within health institutions and the larger healthcare system that perpetuate multiple levels of racism and health inequalities.

Rationale: Indigenous persons have a large burden of preventable disease and injuries in comparison to other groups in Canada. Generations of racist government and other policies and actions, such as residential schools and differentials in access to health services, have undermined the social determinants of health for Indigenous peoples.   
 
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has called on leaders and all Canadians to redress consequences of previous and current racist polies and actions.  For health leaders, there is a responsibility and opportunity to respond to these calls and to close the gap between the health status of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.  Establishing accreditation standards which included critical assessment of health institutions through periodic institutional audits can help identify and address problems that perpetuate multi-level racism and health inequalities for Indigenous peoples.

Healthy Workplace Policies in Healthcare

Authors: Fareen Karachiwalla & Joel Kettner

Resolved, that over the next 5 years, leaders of healthcare organizations commit to labour policies that promote health, including ensuring that all health workers earn a wage that is adequate for healthy living and receive adequate paid vacation time, sick leave, and ancillary health benefits (including pharmaceuticals, psychological counseling, optometry, and preventive and restorative dentistry and dental hygiene). 

Rationale:  Social policies, particularly those relating to one's income and work conditions have a significant influence on health promotion and disease prevention.  

Studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Public Health Agency of Canada repeatedly show that the majority of North American workers do not have access to paid sick leave and as such, continue to work while ill. This poses health problems for the individual worker, and it may jeopardize the health of other health workers and their patients, whose well-being depends in part on their health provider’s ability to perform well and minimize the spread of diseases.

Similarly, there is growing evidence of the deleterious physical and mental health effects of temporary and part-time work, which are often accompanied by poor access to health benefits such as vision, dental, and mental health care.  

Finally, income and wealth is increasingly being recognized as one of the most highly correlated determinants of health. With the cost of living in most Canadian cities rising, the proportion of people living in poverty, despite working full-time, is at its highest.  This poses a significant threat to public health, undermining the efforts of our institutions.  The health sector therefore, is uniquely positioned to lead by example and set a new standard for healthier working conditions, including adequate wages and benefits. 

Climate Change

Authors: Yassen Tcholakov, Jia Hu and Joel Kettner

Resolved that Canadian healthcare leaders advocate for a mandatory accreditation standard for all health organizations for policies, structures, and processes that can address the problem of climate change by promoting sustainable consumption and other methods of reducing carbon emissions. 

Rationale:  Climate change has been described as the greatest global health threat of the 21st century. In the aftermath of the announced goals of the Paris Climate Change Accords, Canada’s healthcare sector is uniquely positioned to be a leader in calling attention to and addressing the health effects of climate change.

The healthcare sector can increase its efforts and success in reducing its own carbon emissions. Instituting a mandatory accreditation standard with goals and objectives that apply to all hospitals and other health organizations should provide an incentive for action-oriented policies as well as ways to measure objectively the progress achieved.

The healthcare sector can also play an important advocacy role by calling to attention the ill effects of climate change on health. Increasing the use of renewable energy while decreasing the use of fossil fuels not only addresses climate change but can coincidentally improve heath. For example, encouraging active transportation mitigates carbon emissions while promoting a healthier lifestyle.

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