An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure: Barrett

For Immediate Release:
March 14, 2011

Simcoe – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett is asking the Ontario Government to concentrate on health prevention and promotion in conjunction with resources allocated to health treatment.

“It’s a proactive approach, something we do not see, necessarily, in the health industry, the health ministry, the illness industry or the ill health industry,” Barrett said recently in the house. “It’s a proactive approach. It doesn’t receive the funding that it deserves, in my opinion.”

Barrett spoke to the need for a focus on prevention and promotion during the recent debate of, Bill 141, the Health Protection and Promotion Amendment Act, 2011.

“…it’s getting out in front. It’s a focus on keeping people well, bringing in measures that prevent morbidity and mortality in the first place, prevent diseases from occurring,” said Barrett. “I think of the old analogy of the ambulance and the cliff… when cars go off a cliff, you have an ambulance that will haul people out at the bottom of the cliff, provide that early treatment and get them into the hospital system emergency departments.

“With respect to health promotion, the whole idea is to prevent vehicles from going over that cliff in the first place; put some money in at the top of the cliff.”

Barrett further noted regret regarding the practice of naming diseases after animals without considering the impact to farm producers, “We have to be very careful when we talk about things like swine flu—or bird flu, for that matter, the H5N1.”

Bill 141 was introduced as part of government’s plan to enhance Ontario’s response to future public health events or emergencies. It has been sent to committee following second reading debate.

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For more information, please contact MPP Toby Barrett at
(519) 428-0446 or (905)-765-8413, 1-800-903-8629