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Canada Specific Healthcare Question 13
How would you reduce health inequality in Canada?
Healthcare inequalities in Canada are measured by the difference in health between the highest and lowest income levels; over the past decade, inequalities have increased in three main areas – smoking, COPD hospitalisation and self-rated mental health. In addition to these, other domains that have seen a rise in inequality include obesity, diabetes, fall injury hospitalisation in the elderly, and alcohol-attributable hospitalisation. Therefore, to reduce such inequalities, I would monitor the populations that are at highest risk of succumbing to these conditions and propose launching schemes to tackle them. For example, I would launch an initiative approaching lifestyle changes encompassing smoking, obesity, diabetes and excessive alcohol use. This could include educating individuals on ways to improve their diet and remain physically active, or alternatively encouraging smoking and alcohol cessation. The key to reducing health inequality is through monitoring the health of populations and identifying what groups are most at risk of suffering poor health, such as those from low socioeconomic backgrounds, to ensure that they are able to receive the best care possible.