November 17, 2010: Second Snapshot shows Health Behaviours worsening in New Brunswick
MONCTON (NBHC) – The New Brunswick Health Council (NBHC) has released its second Population Health Snapshot. Similar to the first report published last year, the Snapshot seeks to inform individuals, communities, and organizations about their health status with respect to the population in which they live. The information is available on one page and presented in language that is easy to read and understand.
The Snapshots for the zones and for the province have been updated with the most recent information available; four of the indicators shown in the past Snapshot could not be updated because the information comes from Statistics Canada’s Census data, which is only completed every 5 years. However, the new snapshot includes two new indicators: Life satisfaction and always wearing a bicycle helmet while on a bike.
As a province, we are seeing improvements in rankings for the health care section of the Snapshot, which covers mostly access to care, screening or prevention. New Brunswick ranks second out of 13 provinces and territories when it comes to having a regular medical doctor. We also rank in third place when it comes to wearing a helmet while biking.
New Brunswick does not rank so well in other areas: “We are the most obese province when comparing to all the provinces and territories in Canada,” says Stéphane Robichaud, CEO of the NBHC. “Obesity and other risk factors take a toll on everything, from chronic illnesses to the sustainability of our health system. The key to solving this issue is prevention: we all have a role to play. As for government, this goes beyond the Department of Health and includes all departments and levels of government. By addressing obesity now, we can lighten the impact it will have on our system in the future.”
In addition to presenting the latest indicator data, this report allows the reader to compare the information presented in the previous and current Snapshots. The health status indicators that are worsening in ranking can be seen as early warning signs for what lies ahead: more diseases, longer wait times and increased costs for the system. That is why the report also provides advice to the public by pointing out areas which can be improved upon to have a positive effect on health status based on the trends in the zone where they reside.
The NBHC plans on updating the Snapshot annually, based on the most recent data available. From year to year, the Population Health Snapshot will highlight the progress that was made on areas requiring attention and help determine where efforts should be channeled to tackle continuing or new areas of concern. It will continue to evolve as we identify additional needs in the community and as data and indicators become available.
The NBHC is an arms-length organization that measures, monitors and evaluates New Brunswick’s health system through performance measurement and citizen engagement.