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Social Determinants of Health
In Youth Global Health Forum
Erick Carreras (he/him - il/lui)
Apr 16, 2021
I offer three critical components to discuss at the WHO's 73rd WHA, and to include in it's "Social Determinants of Health" resolution: 1) The need to swap GDP as a metric of domestic economic success, to a more holistic and global perspective that is provided by the UN's Planetary Pressure-Adjusted Human Development Index (PHDI); *2) The need for a Guaranteed Livable Income (GLI) to come to fruition - Canada can be a leader in this by championing this socioeconomic innovation with Bill C-237/Motion M-47; and, *3) A global tax on capital. All of the above will be critical moving forward. We cannot go back to how things were, we need to #buildbackbetter . We live in a global market of finance and capital, and working together at high-level political fora such as WHO's 73rd WHA is one of the most important ways we can treat these global SDH ailments. Just like the ongoing pandemic requires a coordinated response, SDHs are no different. The illness is systemic, and demands a systemic and holistic medical approach. These are my contributions for everyone's consideration. Would love to hear others' perspectives and thoughts - thank you! P.S. - As one bonus idea to consider, something less "controversial" that was a key finding in the UNDESA's 2020 Youth Report: "Explore how various Islamic financing instruments can help young social entrepreneurs seeking funding." (p. 109) (Chap. 5) (https://www.un.org/development/desa/youth/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2020/10/WYR2020-Chapter5.pdf)" *NOTE: for anyone interested in taking a deeper dive into points 2 & 3 above, please continue reading below -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2) Guaranteed Livable Income (GLI) Speaking to root causes for a moment, a leading behavioural scientists, researchers, and writers on the topic, Drs. Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir, have referred to the scarcity mentality as the root of root causes for non-communicable diseases - those of greatest and growing concern in Canada as we come out of the pandemic. GLI is one critical and important part of the solution to this socially constructed scarcity society. If we want to come back from the pandemic in better shape than we entered it, a GLI must be squarely front and centre in the conversation, and innovative economics and funding mechanisms included in the “Social Determinants of Health” resolution at the 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA). Since no single solution is a panacea however, it will be important social programs don't simply have all their funding stripped away as the way to finance a GLI. Rather, GLI must work in tandem with social programs to help promote the kind of collective and individual behaviours that promote a healthy society for all, by all. Here's a model 3-step process to valuate a novel economic sector that leads with intergenerational, feminist, Indigenous, and ecohealth values, and are as follow Step 1) Validation of unremunerated work - work completed outside the labour market - as valid, valuable, and as work that adds value to society, even if not via traditional private/public market mechanisms Step 2) Defining and defining an ethical financial value for the non-private and non-public societal labour contributions, such as: - Participation in a healthy democracy (e.x. - voting) - Participating in public health efforts (staying informed on important local and regional topics - such as the latest COVID information to help keep our communities safe) - Care work (e.x - caring for our family and loved ones) - Caring for oneself (i.e. - self-care) - The holistic health benefits that come from spending time with friends - The health benefits from building relationship and trust with your neighbours and community (e.x. - stopping to say hello to your neighbour, organizing a community event, time tending to a local community garden) - Time spent engaging in time consuming low-carbon emission and climate change reversal activities as we make transition to a more efficient low-carbon society - such as taking time to stick a whole in your socks instead of buying new ones, etc.) ** --> The labour of the Canadian Youth Delegate to the WHO's 73rd WHA --> The labour of all the youth supporting the CYD in their important work this year, and the years to come! *NOTE: the UN is already happening to account for the "ecological services" nature provides (https://seea.un.org/ecosystem-accounting). Step 2 as written above would simply be doing the same for "societal services" humanity provide. Step 3) Integrating this newly defined and valued economic labour contribution into our current economic system for an expanded whole that is greater than the sum of its individual parts. 3) Global Tax on Capital Such innovative funding mechanisms that help bring together the gaping financial divide, is a global tax on capital as discussed in detail in Dr. Thomas Piketty's book, Capital: in the twenty-first century, as well as Utopia for Realists: and how we can get there, by Rutger Bregman. See this viral video of Mr. Bregman speaking truth to power at the World Economic Forum: https://youtu.be/paaen3b44XY
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Erick Carreras (he/him - il/lui)
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