Science tells us that the roots of the common causes of illness in Canada lie in correctable social, economic, occupational and environmental conditions. As a profession, we have largely ignored the social determinants of health, and at times have contributed to social changes harmful to health.
In particular physicians’ organizations have played leading roles in fighting universal accessible health care. At the same time physicians tend to cling to their power within the health care arena, reluctant to interact with other health workers, and the public, as equal partners.
Because we believe it unlikely that traditional medical organizations will change these attitudes, not as an alternative to existing bodies but as a voice for socially concerned physicians. We are, by constitution, independent of any political party or organization, and similarly, independent of any other professional organizations.
- Health care is a right. The universal access of every person to high quality, appropriate health care must be guaranteed. the health care system must be administered in a manner which precludes any monetary deterrent to equal care.
- Health is political and social in nature. Health care workers, including physicians, should seek out and recognize the social, economic, occupational, and environmental causes of disease, and be directly involved in their eradication.
- The institutions of the health system must be changed. The health care system should be structured in a manner in which the equally valuable contribution of all health care workers is recognized. Both the public and health care workers should have a direct say in resource allocation and in determining the setting in which health care is provided.