Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Health, labour are linked

In response to a Toronto Star article, entitled 'Linking health and low incomes' http://www.thestar.com/article/487975, I had the following response published in the Editorial section of the Toronto Star's September 1st issue:Canada's relatively poor performance on health equity, as documented by the World Health Organization's blue-ribbon panel, is mirrored in our country's employment and labour situation.
For my Master's program in Comparative Social Policy at Oxford University, I compared 15 indicators on employment and labour from supranational organizations, such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Labour Organization and the United Nations Development Programme, in 24 of the world's most developed and democratic market economies (the OECD group), including Canada.
Overall, the Nordic and Continental European countries achieved top scores, the Anglo-Saxon nations of Australia, Canada, Ireland, the U.K. and the U.S., as well as the Mediterranean nations of Greece, Portugal and Spain, ranked in the mid-range, while Central-Eastern European countries placed near the bottom end of the scale.
Canada ranked 18th due, most notably, to our lower rates of pension replacement, lower rates of household net savings, greater number of annual hours worked, less-than-generous unemployment benefits, higher childcare costs, lower rates of enrolment of children in childcare and weak employee protection legislation.
Our country's poorer outcomes on employment and labour and, as documented by the WHO, on health equity, suggest it is unlikely that these phenomena are mutually exclusive – both here in Canada and abroad.

Rahul Mediratta, Toronto

*image courtesy ofPEDRO MOLINA/NEWSART

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wow!! congrats on the publication!! keep it up. we're all super proud.