Policy and Political Action

Policy & Political Action

Areas of Focus

  • What are the social determinants of health? How might they be applied to our everyday lived experiences?

    Access to conditions that permit health is shaped by the circumstances in which people are born, grow up, live, work and age, and an array of political, economic, social, cultural and environmental conditions and forces.

  • Evidence of the connection between the environment and health is well-established. World Health Organization data suggests that environmental factors account for 24 per cent of the world’s burden of disease and 23 per cent of all deaths. Costs to human health are higher in developing countries, but environmental factors have a significant impact here in Ontario. For example, the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) concludes that 9,500 deaths per year in Ontario are attributable to a limited number of air pollutants.

  • Canadians have a deep and abiding commitment to the Canada Health Act and to the principle of a universal, single-tier, health care system built on core values of equity, fairness, and solidarity. People living in vibrant communities have access to a spectrum of high-quality, client-centred health care services based on need rather than ability to pay. This includes expanding Medicare to include coverage of pharmaceuticals and home care. But that is only part of the story. Tommy Douglas’s vision of Medicare included moving to a second stage focused on prevention and keeping people well.

  • In Creating Vibrant Communities, RNAO recommends practical and concrete policies that will both strengthen the nursing workforce and say to the aspiring nurse, the nursing student, the recent graduate, the mid-career nurse and their later-career colleagues: “Build your Nursing Career in Ontario.”

    RNAO also recommends supporting RNs and Nurse Practitioners to practice to their full scope, bringing their complete range of knowledge, skills, and experience to the table.

  • Trade agreements could be tools to enhance people's well-being and raise environmental, social and labour standards. However in recent practice, governments including Ontario have negotiated trade agreements in an undemocratic manner behind closed doors. These agreements tie the hands of present and future governments in ways that thwart the democratic aspirations of their people.