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There’s a health gap in Canada – and women are falling through it

There’s a health gap in Canada – and women are falling through it

Posted by ACH2015 on Mar 7, 2019 9:57 am

From the Globe and Mail - March 05/19

Jaimie Roebuck is a communications specialist at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto. Dr. Robin Mason is a scientist at Women’s College Research Institute and the scientific lead at Women’s Xchange. Dr. Paula Rochon is the vice-president of research at Women’s College Hospital, a senior scientist at Women’s College Research Institute and the lead at Women’s Xchange.


Although universal in name, Canada’s health-care system doesn’t always work the same for everyone. Women are not well-represented in research, and when they are included, the information isn’t reported in such a way that we can distinguish important data differences between the sexes. Yet when it comes to most other industries – fashion, footwear or personal care, to name a few – customization by sex and gender is the standard. So why should we settle for a “one-size-fits-all” model when it comes to our health care?

From research and treatment options to health policy and programs, sex and gender differences have not been adequately considered. Women’s needs, including physiological differences, cultural challenges and life circumstances, are often overlooked. This is the health gap, and taking these factors into consideration is no longer an option – it’s a necessity.

Simply put: The routine inclusion of sex and gender data into health research leads to better care. Equal treatment, representation and access to health services should be our country’s mandate. It’s time to bridge the health gap, so that Canada’s universal health-care system lives up to its name.

Read the article below:

Health Gap in Canada

Important reasons to level the playing field in Health Care. It's 2019 right?

Keep well

ACH2015 - Andy.


Re: There’s a health gap in Canada – and women are falling through it

Posted by Essjay on Mar 7, 2019 5:27 pm

It seems surprising that this should be the case in the 21st century.

So many parts of our lives have been designed as if women are smaller versions of men! Car safety tests don’t even use a female dummy or take account of women having likely raised the seat and having breasts which change the way air bags act. So many tools are designed for male size hands etc etc.

Health research on women is more challenging because of our hormone cycles, and physiological differences between women who have had children and those who haven’t. It’s easier to do research on men. But women are not physiologically the same as men - we have different symptoms during a heart attack for example. We tend to visit physicians more often to manage reproductive health and the consequences of those hormones, which physicians often use as the cause of everything!

i work in a university research centre where we use deidentified administrative data (no names or addresses), for individuals and their interactions with health, education and social services. We do a lot of studies on women and children, but they are generally looking back into the data to learn things. For example,  following women with alcohol use or substance use disorders as they go through childbirth and seeing how their children do. Or examining the different outcomes for men and women diagnosed with heart attack, and looking at their diagnosis, tests and treatment to check if women are treated differently to men. Or looking at how men and women do in their older years when they are dealing with caring at home and transition to personal care homes. Interesting finding - women tend to be admitted to personal care home younger than men, because more men are looked after by their wife or a sister at home, at a cost to that woman who then needs care herself (so there are more women in care homes). Men are often unable to provide care for their wives, or other family members, according to our data.

interesting stuff - thanks for sharing!