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Saturday, 29 October 2011

Canada's Chief Public Health Officer releases his annual report once again under the usual cone of silence.

No doubt you saw the headlines about the 2011 Chief Public Health Officer’s report?   No – well you can join the nearly 35 Million other Canadians that once again won’t get formal notice that the annual report has been released.   Somebody in PHAC issued a Tweet.  That level of communication is progress over previous years.  
This year’s report is on Youth and Young Adults.   CPHO report 2011 
Kudos to Dr. David Butler-Jones and his staff.   The report is packed with valuable information, and injected within enough political propaganda to keep government masters content and not embarrassed by the release. In part it reads like a public health text book, but woven in are the seeds planted that could potentially germinate into action.  The lack of a concrete plan or action steps and the cursory handling of issues related to inequities based on socioeconomic status might be understandable compromises.  There is a reasonable handling of Aboriginal inequities.  There is almost no consideration of the geographic disparities that exist in the country. 
The report is recommended reading, albeit that you will find few surprises.  
Perhaps next year the CPHO could issue a news release?   Who knows, in two years he might be allowed to actually speak to the public about his findings, that would be a novel way of letting us know how healthy we actually are. 

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