While the link between poverty and poor health outcomes is well established, experts say that many health care providers feel unequipped to intervene.
Nancy McPherson, a Population Health Analyst, says that one solution is for health practitioners to diagnose and treat poverty, like any other physical condition.
An immediate step is to encourage patients to file their taxes, and improve access to programs that aid this process.
Many low-income Canadians are entitled to cash refunds and other health or social benefits when they file their taxes.
She says that integrating community income tax filing programs with the healthcare system is essential for helping low-income patients.
Nancy McPherson is a population health analyst at the Prairie Mountain Health Authority in Brandon, Manitoba.
Interview by Dane Wanniarachige, journalist intern at EvidenceNetwork.ca.
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