Longwoods Blog

By Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, MD, MBA, FRCS(C)
Chair / Chief, Division of Paediatric Surgery, Children’s Hospital, London, Ontario

Assistant Dean (External)/Assistant Professor, Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgery,
Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario

Co-Director, Health Sector MBA, Richard Ivey School of Business,
University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario

When you work at a hospital with sick and injured children, you passionately want to improve these children’s lives – and the lives of their families. It is even better to find ways of preventing illness and injury in the first place, reducing the requirement for so many children to need hospitalization and acute care.

That’s what this Report is all about – helping children to be healthier, so that they can live better, happier, more productive lives. It is also about giving every child an opportunity to achieve the same health outcomes – no matter
what background they are from. Each finding and recommendation in this document is important in and of itself.
But taken together, they combine to deliver what would be a quantum improvement in the health and wellness of Canadian children and youth.

This matters to children – who will then be able to spend more time playing and learning. This matters to parents – who bear a tremendous personal and financial burden when one of their children has a debilitating illness or injury, and want nothing more than for their children to be happy and well. And this matters to Canadian society – because
healthier children will become happier, more successful adults. From a public policy perspective, investing in the health of our children is as essential to our growth as a nation as investing in infrastructure.

Seeking recommendations to help improve the health and wellness of Canada’s children and youth, Canada’s Health Minister, the Honourable Tony Clement, asked for this Report. It provides advice related to existing federal government programs, the need for new policy directions and programs and the concept of establishing an office for the health and wellness of children and youth.

Children’s health issues – and the factors that determine their health and wellness – are multi-faceted and complex. For that reason, this Report is extensive and the analysis that contributed to it was rigorous. This work was supported by a nation-wide consultation with parents, children and youth and an extensive review of the existing literature related to the health and wellness of children and youth.

Download the PDF here

This entry was posted on Friday, August 13th, 2010 at 5:30 pm and is filed under Longwoods Online.