Dr. Elizabeth McGibbon, PhD St. Francis Xavier University

From your perspective, what are three key recommendations regarding the social determinants of health that you would like to suggest for the Regional Position Paper?

1. Make the political economy of health explicit in the document. People are poor because public policy creates poverty in a complex and enduring manner. Neo-conservative public policy must be interrogated and directly linked to policy-created poverty.

2. Involve the world bank. This mechanism of world finance is central to the problem, and therefore central to the solution regarding decreasing poverty–the most important cause of health inequities.

3. Have a serious and close look at the concept of ‘Gross Domestic Happiness’ measurement. As you know, a larger GDP does not produce happier and healthier citizens. In fact, research is showing that there is an inverse relationship between GDP and overall health and well being (e.g USA has health outcomes that are some of the worst in the developed world; CUBA has one of the best ‘Gross Domestic Happiness’ measurements in the world. Bhutan is first in the world, witht he highest ‘Gross Domestic Happiness’). Also see # 2 above. They are related. thank you for this opportunity for input.

Dr. Elizabeth McGibbon, PhD, RN Associate Professor, Faculty of Science St. Francis Xavier University PO Box 5000, Antigonish, NS, CANADA, B2G 2W5 902-867-5429 Fax: 902-867-1285 emcgibbo@stfx.ca Co-Founder and Chair, Alzheimer Café Canada Adjunct Professor, Dalhousie University

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