Health and Equity within a Canadian context
Tuesday May 30 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm (Eastern Daylight Time)
Session Code: HEA2
Session Format: Regular Session
Session Language: English
Research Cluster Affiliation: Sociology of Health
Session Categories: Hybrid
The Social determinant of health (SDOH) is used to address Equity in Health. Researchers in the area of health use the SDOH as a guide to human rights and equity in the context of Neoliberal ideologies advanced which redistribute resources upward. Social and health spending since 1974 (The Lalonde Report) in Canada has not included SDOH. We will be discussing how 1)Cultural and historical contexts matter for explaining the links between cohabitation and health within Canada. 2) do advocates experience what some have called ‘moral’, or ‘emotional’ distress when doing advocacy work 3) how in Canada and across the diaspora, there remains a diminishing of Black women’s voices, more specifically, the treatment of Black Women within health care systems. 4) how research identifies the measurable self-rated health status of the people, health disparity, and barriers to culturally appropriate health care services, and how these barriers to health care affect the quality of life, spirituality, and well-being of the population. And 5) the social construction of inequality and equity, as they relate to the risk and consequences of COVID-19 in Canada. The 5 presentations will be followed by an open discussion around matters that could include how Anti Racism names, analyses, and is a framework to dismantle systemic and institutionalized forms of racism within health care. Tags: Application and Practice, Equality and Inequality, Health and Care, Race and Ethnicity
Organizer: Merle Jacobs, York University; Chair: Merle Jacobs, York University
Adam Vanzella-Yang, University of Montreal
Context matters: How cohabitation shapes subjective health differently across Canada
On average, married people are healthier than unmarried people. In addition, researchers have observed that cohabitation, like marriage, can also be beneficial to health. However, this may depend on social, economic, and policy contexts, as well as on norms surrounding cohabitation. I investigated how associations between marital status and self-perceived health evolved from 2000 to 2018 in two distinctive regions: Québec and the rest of Canada. Cohabitation has a longer history in Québec, where it is considered as an alternative to marriage, whereas outside of the province it is seen as a childless prelude before marriage. I found that cohabitants in Québec have become just as likely as married individuals to report very good or excellent health. In the rest of Canada, the health of cohabitants consistently lied between that of married and single/never married individuals. Cultural and historical contexts matter for explaining the links between cohabitation and health within Canada.
Sarah Marshall, York University
Health Care Advocates Conceptualizations of Deservingness and Negotiations to Support Precarious Status Persons in Ontario
My research considers how ‘health care advocates’ (including those who have lived experience holding precarious immigration status, community organizers, and/or health care workers) negotiate healthcare access for and with precarious status persons in Ontario. This research aims to understand how health care advocates understand ideas of health care “deservingness” (as it relates to those with precarious status), and how these understandings of deservingness affect the work that advocates take on. My research is based on an analysis of health institutions documents in Ontario, including hospital, community health centre, and public health documents, as well as, interviews conducted with 47 health care advocates. In the findings of my research, I argue that in doing advocacy work, many advocates experience what some have called ‘moral’, or ‘emotional’ distress when doing advocacy work, knowing the ways that they would like to advocate, but not always being able to take on this advocacy due to institutional and systemic constraints. While advocates can be limited by feelings of distress, I further argue that despite the challenges that individual activists face, the formation of networks and relationships, working in solidarity with others working on similar issues, are valuable towards creating change and increasing access to healthcare for precarious status persons.
Sharon Henry, York University
Black Woman's Body Carrying the Legacy
Historically there is resounding evidence that Black Womens bodies were put under the colonial gaze/control. Although life for all began in Africa, the legacy of slavery and colonization perpetuates unrelenting assaults on Black Women’s bodies. The case of Saartjie (Sarah) Baartman, (1789-1815), a KhoiKhoi woman taken from South Africa in 1810 and exploited through freak show exhibits across Europe, (Holmes, 2016), in life and in death is problematized from a Social Determinant of Health, (SDoH), lens. Saartjie’s lived experiences serve as a connecting point of representation of the global historical treatment of Black Women, the silencing of their voices, and the colonial gaze, leading to consideration of contemporary treatment of Black women within systems of health care and interactions with medical practitioners. Currently, in Canada and across the diaspora, there remains a diminishing of Black women’s voices, more specifically, the treatment of Black Women within health care systems. While violence against women is well published globally and in Canada, the suppressing of Black women’s voices generally, as exemplified in the case of Saartiji necessitates exploration. Research in this area remains scantily examined, therefore, requiring interdisciplinary exploration, through historical, and contemporary lens focusing on three elements of the SDoH, race/racism, health services, and gender. A key question to consider is: How has the violence enacted on Saaritji been reflected in the contemporary treatment of Black women? The transnational diaspora treatment in the current climate concerning Saartiji, echoes in the lived experiences within the doctor-patient relationship between Black women and their doctor.
Tariqul Islam, University College of the North, The Pas, MB, Canada; Keith Hyde, University College of the North, The Pas, MB
Access Barriers to Health Care Services and Their Effects on the Physical and Mental Health of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Population of Northern Manitoba
Northern Manitoba is a remote area of approximately 550,000 square km north of the 53rd parallel. The region’s population is 84,168; among them, 76.6 percent are the Indigenous population of 47 First Nations living on or off reserves. There are two cities, eight towns, one rural municipality, one district, and more than 325 reserves/villages/settlements areas (Statistics Canada, 2018 and 2022). Many First Nations communities are not accessible by an all-weather road; some have access by road, some only VIA Train, some only by air and some only on the winter road. This research covers the town of The Pas, the City of Flin Flon and the Opaskwayak Cree Nation. The objectives are to identify health status and investigate the access barriers to culturally appropriate healthcare services. In the region, five hospitals provide only routine services, and only two have delivery services, with a severe shortage of healthcare professionals. The northern populations health care services must be arranged in their communities. Instead, the province introduced the Northern Patient Transport Program (NPTP) in 1995 to facilitate their healthcare service visits hundreds of kilometres away from their home. Even with this arrangement, they face challenges accessing transportation programs, financial problems, health services information, cultural issues, and racial discrimination. People in the same communities are confused about which program they are eligible for, making it difficult to navigate healthcare services. Due to insufficient support, geographical inaccessibility, and transportation problems, many people only consider getting an opportunity to visit a health facility once it is an emergency. In light of this troubling situation, this research identifies the measurable self-rated health status of the people, health disparity and barriers to culturally appropriate health care services, and how these barriers to health care affect the quality of life, spirituality and well-being of the population.
Ivanka Knezevic, University of Toronto
Are We All in It Together? Framing of Unequal COVID-19 Risk across Community and Class in Canadian News Media
This paper builds on the author’s previous work about relative importance of categoric inequalities, on one hand, and socio-economic inequalities, on the other, in the framing of risk of COVID-19 in Canadian commercial news media during the first three “waves” of the pandemic. That research has found that, contrary to the World Health Organisation’s position on social determinants of health (2008), Canadian news reporting does not associate increased risk of COVID-19 with indicators of socio-economic inequality (class), such as low income and social protection, or residential crowding, but nearly exclusively with social exclusion and discrimination against identity-based communities. Moreover, reporting on risk of COVID-19 in racially and ethnically based communities is mostly descriptive: is acknowledged as a significant social problem, but little is said about causes and policies that might ameliorate it. Further, we have found that majority of news stories did not focus on identity-based communities either, but on a homogeneous and unitary “Canadian (or Ontarian or Torontonian…) community.” This frame indicates a form of bio-medical majoritarianism. In order to assess the influence of news media ownership on this aspect of framing, we include a publicly owned news organisation (CBC News) in this round of research. We also expand the time series to analyse the fourth, fifth, and sixth waves of COVID-19 in Canada, in order to examine whether presence of government- and medical-establishment sponsored frames about the salience and prevalence of risk increases over time. The paper is based on the production-of-culture model of media studies, which synthesizes realist and social-constructionist perspectives. We hope to contribute to two areas of literature. First, to further study of framing of social inequality in North American mass media. Second, to the debate about the quality of public discourse on an important policy issue, connecting to issues of both the hegemonic mass communication and the evidence-based policy making.