Primary health care providers should take “significant action on poverty as a health risk, while simultaneously working toward higher level systemic changes to reduce the impact of poverty on health” – that’s one of the conclusions of a new qualitative study on poverty and health in the latest edition of the peer-reviewed BMC Family Practice medical journal. The Wellesley Institute was one of the key informants in this review of the barriers to primary health care responsiveness. Our funded research, including Poverty is Making Us Sick and Sick and Tired, that draws the links between poverty and poor health is also cited in this new study.
We have also done research highlighting that enhanced access to primary care for health disadvantaged communities is an essential part of comprehensive health equity strategy. Scot Wolfe’s policy paper emphasized primary care as a key driver of health equity. More broadly, advocates of the Second Stage of Medicare have long called for enhanced access to primary care as part of improving preventative care and support, health promotion and policy changes addressing the roots of health inequities in the wider social determinants of health.