A new report by the Conference Board of Canada has outlined some of Toronto’s weaknesses as a city.
The report, entitled City Health Monitor, examines the physical and socio-economic health of ten metropolitan cities across Canada. It measured the performance of each area based on four categories: life satisfaction; population health; healthy lifestyle; and access to health care services.
“By comparing population health, lifestyle and satisfaction, and health care system performance across key indicators, we can better understand the differences between cities, recognize what is achievable, pinpoint policy priority areas, and track the impact of policies or changes in processes over time,” states the report, dated December 2016. “By highlighting gaps in performance, we can work toward closing them and improving the performance of the health care system and the health of Canadians.”
The cities compared include Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Quebec City, Montreal, Halifax, and Toronto.
Overall, Saskatoon placed first, and was ahead of Calgary and Winnipeg. All three cities scored As in at least two categories. Toronto scored a B grade overall, but don’t let that fool you – it posted decent results in one category while faltering in many others.
While Vancouver placed first in ‘population health’, Toronto was grouped in the middle due to its low ranking in diabetes and hypertension. While in the ‘life satisfaction’ category, Toronto was below average, getting Css across the board for its work in overall health and mental illness.
Not surprising, Vancouver was the top performer in the healthy lifestyle comparison, boosted by its first-place ranking on obesity and its high rankings on smoking, heavy drinking, and physical activity.
In comparison, Toronto was last in the physical activity category:
Four cities placed in the mid-to-bottom half range with C grades in access to health care, and Toronto was one of them. While it places in the top for accessing a doctor, it failed to excel in the number of specialists and number of nursing/midwifery personnel.
The City Health Monitor is the first issue of its kind, issued by the Conference Board of Canada which a non-profit organization dedicated to building a better future for Canadians by making our economy and society more dynamic and competitive. It uses health benchmarking to identify strengths and weaknesses within the Canadian system, and help develop better strategies.