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Social Determinants of Children’s Health in Canada

2 little girls opening a present
May 16, 2014

Ontario Health Promotion E-bulletin – The health of Canada’s children when placed in comparative perspective with other wealthy developed nations is mediocre at best. Much of this has to do with the social determinants of children’s health (SDCH) in Canada being of generally lower quality and more inequitably distributed than is the case in most other wealthy developed nations. The SDCH are of two kinds: (a) those to which their parents are exposed, and (b) those specifically related to societal support for early child development. In both cases Canada’s support of the SDCH through the making of health promoting public policy is lacking. Much of this has to do with the political ideology of ruling governments consistent with Canada being identified as a liberal welfare state where intervention in the unbridled operation of the market system is frowned upon. There are means of improving the situation. These involve a wide range of activities from more responsive clinical practice through to advocacy and political action.

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