Tuesday, 30 October 2012
CPHO 2012 report released on Sex and Gender: A silent release.
David where are you?
On Friday October 26th, the Chief Public Health Officers 2012 report was released. No press release, no media attention, no public communication. We know you better than that. While your health has been assaulted this year, we know you have been active in many areas. But, this is not the first year either. Once again, your major document outlining the dominating health issues in Canada is silently posted to your website, with no effort to publicize its existence.
Are you so quashed by federal communications folks as to truly be painted as suffering the very intimidation that this site spoke to at Intimidation, politicians and public health professionals? You are admired and respected across the country, and have left legacies of benefit from across the country. DrPHealth has followed your rise from Barrie, through your home roots in Saskatchewan and back to the hallowed halls of Ottawa. Your tenure as president of CPHA was one of the most fruitful and impactful. You are a master of the public health professions.
Have the federal bureaucrats handcuffed you to the point of impotency? And while awaiting translation has a measurable impact on public release of federal documents, the material is available in both official languages from time of release.
Ranting aside, it takes bravado to release a report on sex and gender in the environment that you are working. The fundamental perspective being that of recognizes sex and gender as a determinant of health, and discussion of its known contribution. The burden carried by males and females in society.
The report opens with a general discussion of the state of public health in Canada. Mixing the good and the bad, and highlighting the impact of the recession, the widening gap between rich and poor and updating knowledge on risk taking behaviours.
The provocative discussion that follows in part 2 recognizes the impacts of sex and gender, discusses sexual health in a frank and dispassionate fashion, and speaks to the diversity of sexual practices. Notable is the lack of visual aids such as charts and graphs. The differences are buried in the text and require careful reading. Is it politically unacceptable to flag the plight of single mothers? Gay men? Transgendered individuals? Stigmitized persons with mental illness?
The full report is found at 2012 CPHO report on Sex and Gender. Previous reports are found at CPHO annual reports.
While the efforts to speak on behalf of the health of Canadians of Dr. Butler-Jones should be commended, there is a need for a significant reprimand for the inability to speak out on these very issues. Somehow it is not surprising given the current government, the comparable lack of communication from Minister Aglukkaq, and the prevailing communications trend from government that the best news is not to be in the news, but it is not an excuse for not doing your job.