Gap Widens with Health
The Centres of Excellence
for Women's Health recently released a report, based on six regional
assessments of health care reform, revealing the health care gender
gap is widening. Pat Armstrong, Chair of a co-ordinating group
of the Centres of Excellence for Women's Health which produced
the report titled: Women and Health Care Reform says: "The last
decade of 'reform' has shifted the costs of health care from government
budgets to Canadian women - as patients, health care providers,
and family caregivers - through their pocketbooks and their own
"Because women, on average, earn less than men, are more likely
to live in poverty, and less likely to have supplementary health
insurance coverage, they face greater financial barriers when
health care costs are privatized." Armstrong says.
Women working as nursing home aides, hospital cleaners and food
service workers have seen their work privatized and their wages
drop while nurses and other frontline health care providers cope
with understaffing, heavier workloads, and increased levels of
stress and injury in the workplace.
"Hospitals have introduced methods to measure patient outcomes
and define effective treatments that may not include the kinds
of care and support that women often define as important to their
health and well-being," she says. "We are beginning today a campaign
to get our report and the regional scans into the hands of candidates
across Canada," says Armstrong.
The Centres of Excellence for Women's Health strengthens policy-focused
research on women's health in Canada by providing unique opportunities
for collaboration among community-based women's health groups,
service providers and academic researchers.