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Sun May 26, 2013, 02:39 PM

Treating poverty works like medicine, doctors say

Adding to poor patients' incomes works to decrease the health effects of poverty, Canadian doctors are finding.

The Canadian Medical Association is asking people across the country how poverty affects their health as part of its national dialogue tour. The group said that social and economic factors determine 50 per cent of health outcomes.

At his inner city family practice at Toronto's St. Michael's Hospital, Dr. Gary Bloch puts income information at the top of the medical history he puts on his charts.

"Treating people at the low income with a higher income will have at least as big an impact on their health as any other drug I could prescript to them," Bloch said.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/05/24/poverty-disease.html

I think this falls into the 'no shit' category, however its nice to see this issue get some media attention. A commenter further down in the article mentioned the Mincome project, which I had never heard of. Not surprising that it was shelved.

Mincome is the name of an experimental Canadian Basic income project that was held in Dauphin, Manitoba during the 1970s. The project, funded jointly by the Manitoba provincial government and the Canadian federal government, began with a news release on February 22, 1974, and was closed down in 1979. The purpose of this experiment was to determine whether a guaranteed, unconditional annual income actually caused disincentive to work for the recipients, and how great such a disincentive would be.

It allowed every family unit to receive a minimum cash benefit, with every dollar over the benefit amount taxed at 60%.[citation needed] The results showed a modest impact on labor markets, with working hours dropping one percent for men, three percent for wives, and five percent for unmarried women. [1] However, some have argued these drops may be artificially low because participants knew the guaranteed income was temporary. [2] These decreases in hours worked may be seen as offset by the opportunity cost of more time for family and education. Mothers spent more time rearing newborns, and the educational impacts are regarded as a success. Students in these families showed higher test scores and lower dropout rates. There was also an increase in adults continuing education.[3][4]

A final report was never issued, but Dr. Evelyn Forget [for-ZHAY] has conducted analysis of the research.[5] She found that only new mothers and teenagers worked substantially less. Mothers with newborns stopped working because they wanted to stay at home longer with their babies, and teenagers worked less because they weren't under as much pressure to support their families, which resulted in more teenagers graduating. In addition, those who continued to work were given more opportunities to choose what type of work they did. Forget found that in the period that Mincome was administered, hospital visits dropped 8.5 per cent, with fewer incidences of work-related injuries, and fewer emergency room visits from car accidents and domestic abuse.[6] Additionally, the period saw a reduction in rates of psychiatric hospitalization, and in the number of mental illness-related consultations with health professionals.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mincome

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