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Stepping It Up: Moving the Focus from Health Care in Canada to a Healthier Canada

A Healthier Canada is not just the Responsibility of Health Ministries

December 15, 2010 - A report released today by the Health Council of Canada declares that unless governments change their approach to addressing the needs of poorer and socially disadvantaged Canadians, we are destined to continue to spend large amount of dollars on our health care system. Governments must expand their approach to health promotion in order to tackle the major societal factors that lead to poor health and to take pressure off health care budgets.

The report "Stepping It Up: Moving the Focus from Health Care in Canada to a Healthier Canada"  indicates that health disparities play a significant role in health system costs. It states that ongoing spending on acute care and programs encouraging a healthy lifestyle is not enough to improve the overall health of Canadians, particularly those who live in or close to poverty.

"Good health is not simply a matter of diet and exercise," says John G. Abbott, CEO of the Health Council of Canada. "These things matter, but research shows that other factors such as our income, employment, home and work environment, and social relationships have a stronger impact on our health and well-being."

Read commentary from guest bloggers and other health industry leaders about health promotion in Canada or download the full report on