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Ritika Goel

Toronto Family Physician, Public Health Professional

Ritika Goel is a family physician and public health professional in Toronto. Check out her blog at righttohealth.ca and follow her on Twitter: @RitikaGoelTO.
The Washington Post via Getty Images

We Need a National Housing Strategy

My patient reminded me that day of something that I have always known -- access to housing is not just a matter of rights and justice, it's also a matter of health. When his mental health deteriorates, he can indeed access the hospital care he needs, but if providing him access to housing can help keep him healthier, costs us less, and is the right thing to do, then why not do it for everyone? This federal election, when we vote, we must vote for housing for all, and no matter who is elected, we must call on them to take action immediately.
10/13/2015 05:18 EDT
Siri Stafford via Getty Images

What You Need to Know About Canada's Refugee Health Program

The federal government has finally backtracked on some of their cuts to the refugee health program brought about in 2012. After significant public opposition and a legal challenge on the basis of violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, in July 2014, a federal court deemed the cuts to the refugee health program "cruel and unusual" treatment.
12/25/2014 09:51 EST
Mark Miller via Getty Images

Canada, Stop Denying Migrant Workers Health Care When They Need It Most

We must face the reality of people like Kenroy and Denville who are punished as a result of laws that do not recognize the situation on the ground. We must address the unfair conditions under which we bring people over for this program, and provide them the services they are due. Canada set out to have a universal healthcare system that covers everybody, and it's about time that we did just that.
04/07/2014 05:30 EDT
PA

Doctor's Orders: Raise the Minimum Wage

Living in poverty is not just an economic and political issue, but fundamentally an issue of human health. Income is the strongest determinant of health. How much you make is more important than what you eat, how much you exercise, or even your genetic make-up. A recent series of articles in the Ontario Medical Review highlights the fact that poverty is a medical problem, and healthcare providers are seeing the impacts on the front lines. We know that people on social assistance have a suicide rate 18 times higher than those in the highest income bracket. Something needs to be done.
01/14/2014 09:29 EST
CP

Toronto Values Health Before Immigration Status

Toronto City Council has decided to do something about this for those without health insurance that live in our city. Council voted in favour of abolishing the three-month waiting period for new immigrants and also rescinding the recent cuts to the refugee health care program. I have never been more proud to call this city my home.
05/13/2013 12:17 EDT
Alamy

Doctors Are Under the Influence of Pharma Drugs

Why do so many doctors still think they are invincible to the influence of the pharmaceutical industry? Attractive, well-dressed, charismatic drug reps with pearly smiles and shiny flow charts still wait in waiting rooms. Lectures and conferences still occur where lunch is paid for by the pharmaceutical industry. Canada has banned the use of TV, print and radio advertising of drugs directly to consumers because we recognize that this information should come from unbiased sources. Why then do we allow so much drug promotion to physicians? As a medical community, we have to say no to pharmaceutical influences on our practice.
04/02/2013 12:09 EDT
Rachel Adler

How Kenney Is Killing Refugee Health Care

Today, Jason Kenney and the Conservative government announce a controversial list of countries that will determine who does and does not get access to healthcare in this country. This is what the government has facetiously called "public health and safety coverage" illuminating their limited understanding of the field of public health. As a family doctor working with refugees and refugee claimants, the potential impacts of this policy are horrifying. We will no doubt see individuals left with no choice but to allow their health to worsen before seeking services. It seems to me that this is a lose-lose situation.
12/14/2012 08:19 EST
CP

My Apologies, As a Canadian, to the Roma People

Toronto, is seen as "some kind of paradise" to Roma in Hungary, who face daily persecution. This brought on a nauseating feeling as I thought of the current government's portrayal of Hungary as a "safe country" for the Roma people, who are themselves portrayed as bogus claimants. I thought of the Roma refugee claimants I have seen in my clinic, who are simply trying to find safety for themselves and their families, like anybody would.
09/17/2012 12:13 EDT
Shutterstock

No Refuge for Refugees in Health Care

Recently, Jason Kenney has proposed drastic changes to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) -- the program that has allowed many refugees to receive health care. These changes aim to deny access to essential medicines for all refugees and claimants, deny basic healthcare to those deemed to come from a "safe country," and are a poor policy decision.
06/08/2012 12:04 EDT