A new report by Health Quality Ontario reveals significant differences in the health of people living in Ontario’s two northern regions compared to the rest of the province.
While health and health care across the province has seen gains over the years, northern regions continue to lag far behind provincial averages. Health inequities faced by people living in Ontario’s two northern LHIN regions are stubborn and persistent. Compared to the province overall, people in Ontario’s north are:
- more likely to have a much shorter life expectancy
- more likely to die prematurely (before age 75) due to suicide, circulatory disease and respiratory disease
- much less likely to report being able to see a primary care provider when needed
- more likely to report having multiple chronic conditions
Many of these inequities can be attributed to systemic challenges faced by health care professionals and the many challenges involved in serving diverse populations, each with their own needs, spread over such a wide area with a low population density.
CMHA Ontario recognizes that these inequities can have a significant and often negative impact on an individual’s mental health. To help practitioners consider equity issues in serving clients with mental health and addiction issues, CMHA Ontario has developed the Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) Mental Health and Addictions Tip Sheet. This Tip Sheet focuses specifically on how the HEIA tool can be applied to consider equity issues related to serving clients with mental health and addiction issues.
For more findings and to read Health in the North: A report on geography and the health of people in Ontario’s two northern regions, visit www.hqontario.ca/HealthintheNorth