Health: our great­est as­set

The Citizen-Record (Cumberland) - - OPINION -

cent of pre­ma­ture moral­ity from chronic dis­eases is due from com­mon habits such as to­bacco use, harm­ful al­co­hol use, un­healthy eat­ing and phys­i­cal in­ac­tiv­ity.

We cur­rently spend 90 per cent of our health care sys­tem’s bud­get deal­ing with the costs of dis­eases from un­healthy habits yet the Depart­ment of Health Pro­mo­tion and Pro­tec­tion only re­ceives less than one per cent of the gov­ern­ment’s bud­get.

The Gov­ern­ment of Nova Sco­tia has taken im­por­tant steps in the last num­ber of years to ad­dress phys­i­cal in­ac­tiv­ity lev­els in the prov­ince: in­clud­ing com­mit­ting re­sources to help­ing chil­dren and youth be­come more ac­tive and pre­par­ing for the de­vel­op­ment of a phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity frame­work. How­ever, an in­vest­ment of ap­pro­pri­ate re­sources to sup­port a com­pre­hen­sive prov­ince-wide phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity strat­egy for all ages is a crit­i­cal next step to se­cur­ing a healthy and bal­anced prov­ince in the fu­ture.

In May of 2009, the Nova Sco­tia Al­liance for Healthy Eat­ing and Phys­i­cal Ac­tiv­ity, of which the Heart and Stroke Foun­da­tion is a mem­ber, de­vel­oped a re­port The Case for a Com­pre­hen­sive Pro­vin­cial Phys­i­cal Ac­tiv­ity Strat­egy demon­strat­ing the phys­i­cal, men­tal and eco­nomic ben­e­fits of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity. The re­port pro­vides ex­am­ples of ef­fec­tive in­ter­ven­tions to achiev­ing re­sults in the short and long term. The cost to sup­port such a strat­egy - $5 mil­lion. This in­vest­ment is not small. How­ever, nei­ther is the scale of the prob­lem with which we face as a prov­ince nor is the ac­cru­ing costs of not tak­ing action to­day.

If we are to truly get back to bal­ance in Nova Sco­tia, an in­vest­ment in Nova Sco­tia’s health through phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity and preven­tion is crit­i­cal for ad­dress­ing our cur­rent and fu­ture health and fis­cal chal­lenges.

The far­ther off course we al­low our­selves to go in ad­dress­ing our health needs, the more dif­fi­cult bal­anc­ing the bud­get will be­come. We need to en­sure that a vi­tal part of any de­ci­sion made re­gard­ing our fi­nan­cial fu­ture in­cludes a fo­cus on strate­gies to se­cure bet­ter health - our great­est as­set.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.