Health equity for professionals
Health care providers play an important role in promoting opportunity for all and addressing the determinants of health. As a health care provider, you can create change in a client’s life simply by initiating a conversation about his or her socioeconomic status and having the capacity to help.
This section includes a three-step clinical tool that was developed by Drs. Larisa Eibisch, Gary Bloch, Katie Dorman, Danyaal Raza, and Esther Ernst. The tool can be used to address poverty in primary care, and the web-based resources can help you and your clients navigate income support systems.
Treating poverty: Three step clinical tool1
Poverty is everywhere but it is not always apparent. You should screen everyone. Ask your client, “Do you ever have difficulty making ends?”
Like with other risk factors, include poverty into clinical decision-making. Research has shown that growing up in poverty has been associated with increased adult morbidity and mortality resulting in a number of risk factors, for example:
- cardiovascular disease
- mental illness
- other chronic conditions
- infant mortality
- low birth weight
By asking these simple questions to your clients, you can help them by providing information about income security programs.
Have you filled out and mailed in your tax forms?
For seniors living in poverty
Do you receive Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement?
For families with children
Do you receive the Canada Child Benefit on the 20th of every month?
For people or children with a disability
Do you receive Disability Benefits?
For Indigenous people
For social assistance recipients
For more information on the tool
Benefits finder tool
Use this tool from the Government of Canada to get a customized list of benefits for which your client may be eligible.
Income referral resources
To find programs and services in your community, connect to 2-1-1 helpline or to the 211 online database that provides information on, and referrals to, Ontario’s community, social, health and government services.
For additional local resources visit NorthEasthealthline.ca for health related resources, events, and news specific to your area.
Health care provider links to social determinants of health
View a few relevant links and other professional resources about the social determinants of health.
1 Eibisch, L., Bloch, G., Dorman, K., Raza, D., & Ernst, E. Treating Poverty: An approach to office-based poverty intervention & income replacement programs for family physicians [PowerPoint slides].
This item was last modified on July 16, 2019