Poverty related issues account for 20% of Canadian healthcare spending.
The single biggest factor determining health is income. Poverty has a greater influence on health than any amount of primary care in hospitals or with doctors. Poverty is directly linked to chronic illness, lower health outcomes, and shorter life expectancy.
For example, when compared to the 20% of Canadians with the highest incomes, the 20% of Canadians with the lowest incomes are: more than 2 times as likely to have diabetes or heart disease more than 2 times as likely to have two or more chronic health conditions; more than 3 times as likely to have bronchitis; nearly 2 times as likely to have arthritis or rheumatism; 358 times more likely to have a disability.
Canada spends an estimated 20% of its total annual health spending on issues related to poverty.
A national plan to eliminate poverty would not only create a healthier society, but it would also save billions a year in health funding.