September 19, 2013
Health promotion and disease prevention are key to improving the sustainability of our province’s health-care system. Doctors have identified investing in these areas as a priority for this election.
Nova Scotia needs to reduce chronic disease rates. One in three children in our province is overweight or obese, youth are having their first alcoholic drink at 13 years of age, approximately 20 per cent of people in our province smoke, and our rates of chronic disease are among the highest in the country.
Despite these alarming trends, health promotion and disease prevention have not been addressed by any of the political parties during this election. There’s been a lot of discussion around health-care delivery, which is important, but we need to also invest in keeping people healthy and out of the health-care system.
Doctors aren’t the only group concerned about health promotion. A poll recently released by the Heart and Stroke Foundation, shows that 89 per cent of Nova Scotians would favour a political party that increased investments in strategies focused on keeping people well.
Starting in 2017, as a result of the expiring 2014 Health Accord, our province will not receive the same health-care funding as it previously has from the Federal government. This means we’ll need to do more with less. It’s more pressing than ever before for Nova Scotia to make its health-care system sustainable.
Our province will never achieve an efficient and effective health-care system without giving Nova Scotians more opportunities to adopt healthy lifestyles. When speaking with candidates in your area ask how they’ll invest in health promotion to make your community healthier. An investment in health promotion is an investment in health care.
To find out more about Doctors Nova Scotia’s election priorities, visit www.doctorsns.com/election2013
Mike Fleming, BSc, MD, CCFP, FCFP