Our Community Report highlights Public Health’s accomplishments, partnerships and milestones for the previous year. It is our opportunity to share the work that makes Public Health an essential part of the local healthcare system, from working with municipalities to design healthy neighbourhoods; to monitoring the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases; to providing a variety of programs and supports for families; and much more.
Message from the Medical Officer of Health & CEO, Dr. Nicola Mercer
In 2017, as the country turns 150 years old, Canadians may be reflecting on how fortunate they are to be living here. One of the distinct benefits of living in Canada is the universal system of healthcare that Canadians are able to take for granted, particularly when they are ill and require medical attention. Throughout our country’s history, public health has also played a key role in the detection and control of infectious diseases, the promotion of healthy lifestyles, and the prevention of disease and injury.
Public health and the healthcare system in Ontario are on the precipice of important change. With the recent release of the Patients First Act legislation and the modernization of the Ontario Public Health Standards, the healthcare system is working to eliminate inequities and improve the circumstances in which people in our communities are born, grow, live, work and age.
Canadians recognize health disparities that exist between prosperous and developing nations. Poverty, poor nutrition, lack of education and employment, and inadequate housing are some of the social determinants of health that affect individuals and groups in developing and war-torn countries around the world.
When we turn the lens to Canada and our local communities, health inequities may not be as obvious to everyone, but they do exist. Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health assesses the health outcomes of groups of individuals to determine which priority populations would benefit from evidenced-based programs and services.
We have chosen health equity as one of four strategic directions in our 2016-2020 Strategic Plan which will align with changes being made to Ontario’s healthcare system. Public Health’s programs and services will use health equity principles in an effort to reduce and eliminate health differences in our communities.