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Thursday, 27 September 2012

Courageous Conversations: Speaking out on Determinants of Health: An air of optimism.

A friend of DrPHealth just published a posting at one of the better health news sites in Canada called healthydebate.  Dr. Dutt is also a prodigious Twitter under the handle of @Monika_Dutt . http://healthydebate.ca/opinions/the-role-of-medical-officers-of-health-in-addressing-health-inequities  

Another friend of the site Dr. Ted Schrenker who blogs under “Health as if everybody counted”. His blog is linked to and accessible from the Community Health continuing education activities CHNet-works .

Their two recent postings share a common theme.  Dr. Dutt’s focusing on the role of Medical Health Officers in addressing health inequities Healthy Debate September 24 , Dr. Schrenker in two part posting focusing on those who “get it”, and looking beyond the traditional borders of the health system for allies.   People who get it Part 1 and Part 2 .

These both are concurrent with the very powerful posting by an actuary Robert Brown in the Globe and Mail on the dangers of providing more health care more health care does not mean better health   

IN August MacLeans ran an interview with the foremost international expert on inequities and determinants, Sir Michael Marmot Macleans interview 

Add further that Sir Michael Marmot was a keynote speaker at the CMA meetings, and the new president of the CMA talks about inequities and determinants of health as if she were indoctrinated into the language of public health.   CMA meetings.

The common theme is that the rhetoric is changing, that more of the discussion focuses on inequity, and as Sudbury Department of Health led by Dr. Penny Sutcliffe is demonstrating, we can make a difference.  Through a CHSRF funded training fellowship, the department of health provides fact sheets on ten promising practices to reduce inequities in health sdhu promising practices documents.

Once again the discussion returns to Michael Marmot as one of the leading voices on what actions on determinants have been shown to be effective.   Start at his home page UCL profile Michael Marmot and check out the impressive list of publications. The most notable of the articles being one that is not readily available on-line, but in the Annual Review of Public Health (2011) 32: 255-36, authored by Friel and Marmot and looking at action on reducing inequities between jurisdictions.   Well worth trying to track down the material.

Perhaps it is the fall atmosphere, but there is air of optimism in circulation and the winds are changing.  The next steps will be in continuing to further normalize discussion on inequities and actioning work that leads to reductions.  This may well be the public health success for the decade. 

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