Ontario Needs Comprehensive Public Health Strategy
Dr. Arlene King Says That Public Health Is Everyone's Business
Ontario needs a comprehensive system-wide public health strategy that focuses on prevention and health promotion, says Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Arlene King.
Investments in prevention will improve the health of the population. They are also a necessary component of any strategy to restrain the growth in health care spending, says Dr. King.
In her 2009 annual report to the legislative assembly, Dr. King says that prevention efforts must be directed in five areas:
- Reducing obesity and physical inactivity
- Investing in healthy child development
- Preventing injuries
- Reducing health inequities
- Investing in the war on tobacco.
The Chief Medical Officer of Health's annual report emphasizes the need to look at the broader determinants of health including economic and social conditions that are known to greatly influence health. The report is a call to action for a system-wide approach to public health that encompasses all three levels of government, the health, education, financial and social sectors, as well as the people of Ontario.
Dr. King will release her recommendations for a comprehensive public health strategy later in 2011.
- Almost 60 per cent of Ontario adults are overweight or obese.
- Approximately 13,000 Ontarians die from tobacco use each year.
- Aboriginal people experience the lowest health status of any identifiable population in Ontario.
“Recent investments in public health have greatly benefited the people of Ontario. To maintain this progress Ontario now needs a comprehensive public health strategy that will keep our people healthy and help sustain our health care system. This will require a system wide approach because public health is everyone's business”
Dr. Arlene King