Escaping from the: social determinants of health, public health units and public policy in CanadaPhantom Zone: social determinants of health, public health units and public policy in Canada

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Abstract

Despite the Canadian record of concern with the social determinants of health (SDOH), actual public health activities consistent with such an approach are sporadic at best. Canadian research and advocacy activities in the service of strengthening the SDOH are so divorced from everyday public policy activity, media discourse and public awareness as to metaphorically suggest that SDOH researchers and advocates exist in a Phantom Zone of irrelevance. Why this might be the case and means of escaping from such irrelevance are presented. Implications for jurisdictions where the situation appears to be even worse—such as the USA—and for those where the situation may be somewhat better are also presented.

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