Despite the strategies undertaken by various governments to improve health, inequalities in provision of health care among Canadians are still common (Bartley, 2003). Medicare in Canada guarantees the accessibility to quality medical services. However, the low incomes in addition to the disability are major factors that hinder the accessibility of quality health services. The provision of all inclusive education programs that takes into consideration the needs of students with disabilities in one of the initiatives undertaken by government authorities. In order to streamline provision of inclusive education, Canadian government adopts international agreements, such as Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action. This paper discusses the disability as a social determinant of health in the context of governmental policy in Canada.
The physical or mental challenges that explain the disability nature of an individual are not significant aspects that can justify the provision of health care to the disabilities. The major issue that needs to be considered is whether the society is willing to expose the disabled people to better health care (Bueno, 2004). The benefits given to Canada disabled people as far as health care is concerned are low as compared to other wealthy and developed countries. The disability level in Canada stands at 12.4%. Among the adult between the ages of 15-65, the percentage of the disabled persons stands at 11.6%, while less that 5% of the children below the age of 14 are disabled. The discrimination of the employment of the disabled people in various sectors of the economy is a major cause of low level of income that makes it difficult for the disabled people to access quality health care. For example, in 2000 only, 35% of disabled men benefited from full time employment. In the same period, 23% of the disabled women were in the labor market. A major indicator of the discrimination is evident from the employed women and men without disability that stood at 37% and 53% respectively. Health implications of low employment level of disabled It is vital to note that the percentage of unemployed Canadian with disabilities stands at 40%. As a result, they rely on the social assistance benefits that are quite low in Canada. In addition to the low level of health benefits provided to the people with disabilities, little financial assistance given to the disabled persons has little significant on the provision of health care. These factors make Canada to be one of the countries with highest inequality in allocation of resources and benefits to disabled people. Even though Canada has emulated reasonable efforts to assist people with disabilities, the employment sector is still unwilling to accommodate the health needs of the disabled. In this regard, it is imperative to emulate minor modification by the employers. It is vital to note that lack of providing accommodation to the individual with disabilities is a frustrating aspect that is disheartening and makes the persons feel an outcast in the society. In order to address the challenges faced by disabled people in Canada, the UN convention on the rights of individuals with disabilities has intervened (Government of Canada, 1996). This has forced Canada to make regular reports to the organization on the strategies the country has adopted to curb the situation. Policy implications In its effort to improve the provision of health care to people with disabilities, the federal government, with the participation of the Council of Canadians with
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