York prof notes Saskatchewan’s high child mortality rate

Saskatchewan was panned Thursday over its high infant mortality rate by the author of a new article in the journal Paediatrics & Child Health, wrote the Leader-Post (Regina, Sask.) Jan. 22.

In his article, “The health of Canada’s children: Part 1”, released Thursday, York University Professor Dennis Raphael, of York’s School of Health Policy & Management, in the Faculty of Health, cites a 2008 Statistics Canada report pegging Saskatchewan’s infant mortality rate at 8.3 deaths per 1,000 live births, the highest of any province.

“Saskatchewan has this dubious distinction. The single best indicator to represent the health of the population is infant mortality,” Raphael said in an interview Thursday.

Factors affecting infant mortality include the growing gap between rich and poor and the child poverty rate, he said. The article also pegs Canada’s child poverty rate well below average.

Canada has 15 per cent of its children living in households with less than 50 per cent of the Canadian median income. Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway all come in at five per cent or less. “We are not doing well in terms of taking care of everyone,” Raphael said.