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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

#KLVotes Voters Will You #ReThinkHealth?

Kawartha Lakes Voters Which Candidate Supports Your Health?

When you think of health are you thinking only of Health care, or is your view broader than that? The health of the citizens determines the economic well being of a community. People who are ill have less disposable income for purchasing goods and services. Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, Pine Ridge Health Unit in their daily work throughout City of Kawartha Lakes, perhaps has the best overview of the needs of our community as a whole. In addition to their work throughout City of Kawartha Lakes, the Health Unit can also see how community policies compare between City of Kawartha Lakes and our neighbours. HKPR Health Unit challenges voters to elect candidates who will Re-Think Health and address the root causes behind poor health.
HKPR Health Unit released the following statement regarding the upcoming municipal election.

 Voters ! Rethink Health! Elect Candidates Who Will Support Overall Community Well-Being!

from Bill Eekhof HKPR Health Unit
 Health is about more than health care, a point that will be driven home to local voters during this fall’s municipal election.

#Rethink Health: Root Cause, Real Solutions Campaign Launch

Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is launching the #RethinkHealth campaign to coincide with the municipal election on October 27. The #Rethink Health: Root Cause, Real Solutions campaign includes a package of information for local election candidates, as well as a video,brochure, web resources, print ads and social media messages directed at voters.
The purpose of the #RethinkHealth campaign is to promote the fact that decisions made by local governments, as well as the services they provide, can greatly affect the health of people in the community. Voters in the City of Kawartha Lakes will be asked to keep this in mind when choosing candidates in the October 27 municipal election.
 “We need to rethink health, and realize it is more than just doctor shortages and hospital emergency room wait times that affect our well-being,” says Kristina Nairn, a Social Determinants of Health Nurse, with the HKPR District Health Unit. “Our health is also connected to where we live, the opportunities we have, the choices we make, and the decisions made by our government.” 

Poor Health Root Causes

In addition to access to health care and services, Nairn notes that other factors, or “root causes” can affect people’s health and well-being. The following Health Unit video explains how root causes affect health.
 
What are these root causes? Poor health root causes include:
  • income, 
  • housing, 
  • education, 
  • employment, 
  • social support networks, 
  • physical activity and 
  • healthy child development. 
“Research shows that people with lower incomes tend to be less healthy,” Nairn says. “By addressing factors like lack of income, we can remove a significant barrier and help more people reach their full health potential.” 
Tweet This to Brenda Kariagiannis!  Tweet This to Andy Letham! Tweet This to Donna Villemaire!

Municipal Strategies Can Improve Health

Municipal governments have a significant role to play in creating a healthy community through decisions they make and the programs and services provided to residents, Nairn adds. For example, municipal governments can:

  • Develop a local poverty-reduction strategy; 
  • Ensure housing options exist for people of all ages, incomes and abilities; 
  • Support and encourage fair living wages in the community; 
  • Champion affordable access to recreation; and 
  • Encourage safe active transportation by working towards constructing safe roads, sidewalks and cycling lanes.
 “There is payoff in all of this for voters and elected officials,” Nairn adds. “When people are healthier, they are better able to contribute to their community in time and taxes and make it a more vibrant place to live and work. A healthier community can also result in reduced costs for policing, social assistance, housing and health care.” 

Local voters are being encouraged to choose municipal candidates who will support these “real solutions to community well-being,” Nairn says. In addition, the Health Unit is also urging candidates who are elected on October 27 to take ‘health equity’ into account for any decisions they make on municipal council.
 “Health equity means ensuring all of us have the opportunity to reach our full health potential by overcoming factors and forces that can negatively affect our well-being,” Nairn adds. 
To find out more about the #RethinkHealth campaign, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577 or visit www.hkpr.on.ca.
Which candidates do you think will best attack the root causes of poor health that in turn affect our economy?
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