WATCH: BC is the healthiest place in Canada according to a new report and as Nadia Stewart explains, our long life expectancy and low obesity rate is helping put us on top.
VANCOUVER – B.C. has been ranked the healthiest province in Canada and has been ranked third healthiest in the world, behind Switzerland and Sweden.
B.C. is also the only province in Canada to receive an ‘A’ score overall.
“This ranking reflects the high priority government places on the health and quality of life of British Columbians,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “We have achieved this ranking while maintaining among the lowest per capita health-care spending. This recognition is not a reason for us to slow down our work or settle for the status quo, but rather an opportunity to build on our successes.”
According to the report from the Conference Board of Canada, British Columbians have a life expectancy of 82.2 years, which ranks among the longest in the world. B.C. scored four ‘A’ grades in life expectancy, premature mortality, self-reported health status and mortality from cancer. We earned six ‘B’ grades in infant mortality, death due to heart disease and stroke, self-reported mental health, death due to respiratory disease, death due to diseases of the nervous system and suicides.
“B.C. has a fundamentally different approach to providing health care than some other provinces, and other countries, in that government and doctors work closely as partners to benefit patient care,” said Dr. Bill Cavers, president of Doctors of BC. “More than a decade ago, B.C. doctors and government invested in a collaborative approach on issues of concern to patients, the doctors who provide the care, and the health-care system that makes it all happen, and it is gratifying to see this investment contributing to such positive results. We look forward to continuing this collaboration.”
B.C. received a ‘C’ grade in deaths due to diabetes, even though the province has the lowest diabetes prevalence rate in Canada.
The report indicated the reasons behind this report card is due to healthier lifestyle choices, such as low daily smoking and drinking rates and the highest population percentage that is physically active during their leisure time. B.C. also has the lowest obesity rate in Canada.
“The BC Healthy Living Alliance is pleased to see the health of British Columbians ranked so highly among other provinces and countries,” said Mary Collins, director of the BC Healthy Living Alliance Secretariat. “Certainly the active role that the Government of B.C. has taken, whether with ActNowBC or more recently Healthy Families BC, has been instrumental in moving British Columbians to healthier lifestyles and better health. However, we don’t want to be complacent. As the Conference Board of Canada report points out, rising rates of chronic diseases necessitate a continued focus on disease prevention and health promotion.”