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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 100, Issue 3, pp 173–175 | Cite as

The Global Financial Crisis and Health: Scaling Up Our Effort

  • Ronald LabontéEmail author
Commentary
  • 1 Downloads

Abstract

Economic events of the past year are beginning to create hardships for tens of thousands of Canadians. There are likely to be health effects as well, to the extent that unemployment and poverty rates rise. Conditions, however, will be much worse for those living in poorer countries. High-income countries are committing trillions of dollars in countercyclical spending and banking bail-outs. Poorer countries need to do the same, but lack the resources to do so. Yet foreign aid and fairer trade are widely expected to be among the first high-income country victims of the recession fallout as nations turn inwards and protectionist. This is neither good for global health nor necessary given the scale of untaxed (or unfairly taxed) wealth that could be harnessed for a truly global rescue package. Policy choices confront us. The Canadian public health community must hold our political leadership accountable for making those choices that will improve health globally and not further imperil the well-being of much of the world’s population in efforts to secure our own future economic revival.

Key words

Economic conditions development international cooperation world health 

Résumé

Des dizaines de milliers de Canadiens commencent à éprouver des difficultés causées par les événements économiques de la dernière année. Cette situation aura sans doute également des effets sur leur santé, dans la mesure où les taux de chômage et de pauvreté augmenteront. Les conditions seront cependant encore pires pour ceux qui vivent dans les pays plus pauvres. Les pays dont les citoyens ont un revenu plus élevé engagent des billions de dollars en dépenses compensatoires et en renflouement bancaire. Les pays plus pauvres doivent faire de même, mais ils ne possèdent pas les ressources nécessaires. Cependant, l’aide étrangère et le commerce plus équitable devraient être les secteurs les plus durement touchés par la récession dans les pays à revenu élevé, car les nations mettent d’abord l’accent sur les solutions nationales et le protectionnisme. Cette approche est défavorable pour la santé mondiale et est largement superflue, compte tenu de l’ampleur de la richesse détaxée (ou taxée de façon inéquitable) qui pourrait être regroupée pour produire des mesures de sauvetage véritablement mondiales. La communauté canadienne de santé publique doit veiller à ce que notre leadership politique agisse de façon responsable en faisant les choix qui amélioreront la santé à l’échelle mondiale et qui n’empireront pas davantage le mieux-être de la majorité de la population de la planète, dans leurs efforts d’assurer notre propre éventuelle reprise économique.

Mots clés

conditions économiques développement coopération internationale santé mondiale 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Globalization/Health EquityInstitute of Population HealthCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of Ottawa, Institute of Population HealthOttawaCanada

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