Social determinants of health are an important direction I must follow in my program and also in my career. This course is required in my field of program as it examines how social determinants influences health. Regardless, taking this course will give me an insight and in-depth understanding of the factors that influence health and population both in Canada and globally. I am looking forward to learning the problems in Canadian health care, the primary factors that the shape health of Canadians, the lifestyle choices, the living and working conditions Canadians experience and most importantly the roles of government in health care system.
The knowledge I intend to gain from this course will be a substantial contributor to my career as it will give me the tools and skills I need to make an impact on health care and also provide knowledge of improving access to health care services for people in community. Social determinants of health are the social and economic factors that result the health of an individual and society. This outcome includes income, early child development, education, food, housing and employment. Social determinants of health determine the quantity and quality of resources that are obtainable within the population to ensure that the living and working conditions of individuals be the key priority in the community. I think the major issue in social determinants of health both in Canada and globally would be income. It is one of the common contributors to the social determinants of health. High-income Canadians tend have a better living conditions, access to health care and quality lifestyle compared to low-income Canadians. Low-income affects the quality of health and it limits people from achieving a healthy lifestyle.
Other social determinants of health are greatly influenced by low-income, for example, job security, housing, early child development, food insecurity, and behavioral and psychological factors such as stress and poor diet. Employees both globally and in Canada either have unsteady jobs or are unemployed. Unsteady jobs are connected to Job insecurity as it can have a negative impact on employee’s health. Due to poor economic conditions, companies permanently reduce its workforce and lay off some employees. In some cases, employers are not fired but are employed on temporary or part-time jobs.
The temporary jobs can make them feel insecure which can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression due to the fear of losing their jobs. Studies have shown higher risk of injury and illness, greater workload and great incidence of working in precarious work compared to workers in who are in more secured jobs or unionized workforce. Specific housing systems influences the health of Canadian with low-income as they would not be able to afford good accommodation. Investing in public housing will increase safe and affordable housing for people with low-income and also create employment for people suffering from economic crisis in the country. Increasing wage might contribute to Canadians having stable income.
Unionized workforce policy should be implemented more in Canada to give employees the power to improve their jobs by giving them health benefits for good working condition.