Dr. Gary Bloch, family physician with St. Michael's Hospital, Assistant Professor with the University of Toronto Department of Family and Community Medicine, and founder and chair of the Ontario College of Family Physicians' Committee on Poverty and Health, says there's a link between the health of his patients and their income.
"Most major health conditions, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and mental illness, occur more often and have worse outcomes among people with lower incomes," he
"While I continue to advise patients to exercise and eat healthier food, this tax season I will also spend time prescribing tax returns.
Income is a powerful determinant of health."
According to Dr. Bloch one of his
patients works full time earning under $20,000 per year to support herself and her
By filing a tax return, she
could be eligible to receive thousands of dollars more a year from the provincial and federal governments to help with her
"That money would go a long way to make things a little better for her
, including her
health," says Dr. Bloch
"Income is a powerful determinant of health - more so than many medications I prescribe," notes Dr. Bloch
suggestion to doctors, "This tax season try prescribing a tax return - it may help treat more symptoms than you realize."