Ontario's top doctor calls for action on health risks
Ontario's yearly health check-up from the province's top doctor calls for better tracking of so-called 'key health indicators.'
The report from Ontario's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Arlene King, lays out 12 priorities for health authorities and governments at all levels to focus on:
- Smoking and alcohol use during pregnancy
- Low birth weight
- Healthy child development at school entry
- Immunization coverage of school pupils
- Smoking prevalence
- Overweight and obesity
- Preventable mortality
- Compliance with low risk drinking guidelines
- Self-reported positive mental health
- The burden of infectious diseases
- Hospitalizations for falls in seniors
- Life expectancy at birth
Dr. King says that if more data is collected on who falls into these categories and why, healthcare programs can be directed at tackling these issues.
"At an individual level, we know if we monitor things like our weight, we know that it focuses us in terms of making improvements," she says.
King placed a priority on the dozen factors named in the report because her research shows that they have the most significant affect on Ontarians' health.
The Chief Medical Officer says she will continue to report on these 12 factors each year.
King adds the more attention is paid those issues, the healthier the province will be.
"We know that what gets measured, gets done," she says.