Recently, a disturbing photo of five people sleeping in a Saskatoon bank lobby became headline news and filled social media feeds.
What makes people sick? Infectious agents like bacteria and viruses and personal factors like smoking, eating poorly and living a sedentary lifestyle. But none of these compares to the way that poverty makes us sick.
A Toronto doctor named Gary Bloch has developed a poverty tool for medical practitioners. It helps assess what patients might need other than prescriptions for the newest drugs; it zooms in on the social determinants of health — food, housing, transportation — all poverty markers linked to bad health and poor health outcomes.