Global Health Issues | Canada


Fraser Clarke

Worldwide a vast range of medical issues affect different parts of the planet to different degrees. Some are global, some are regional and some can be specific to a much smaller area.

As a medic looking at taking your career overseas knowing as much as you can about a country’s health issues can be the key behind successfully securing a new job. As well as this it can also play a major role in helping you to decide where your future could lie.

Here, therefore, is the second in our new series of guides to the major health issues facing the countries we most commonly work with. In this article we will look at the country that came out as the most sought after in our recent Twitter poll. Canada.

Diabetes - An estimated nine million people in Canada suffer from the condition, and rates have almost doubled since 1998. Some cases are genetic, but the vast majority of new diagnosis are type-2, meaning that they can be linked to lifestyle issues. Rates in the country are lower than in the Middle East, however the growth rate doesn’t appear to show any signs of slowing down in the future, meaning the country could face an increasing battle with the condition.

Heart Disease - There are many contributing factors to cardiovascular illnesses; diet, weight, age, race and family history can all play a part, but the risk for Canadians is rising. Lifestyle choices like smoking have played a major role in this and, although the smoking rate has now dropped to 17%, it still plays as big a role as any other factor.

The positive news is that the youth smoking rate in the country is dropping, however as this figure gets lower childhood obesity rates have continued to soar - with recent statistics showing that they have tripled in the past 30 years. Obesity increases an individual's risk of heart defects by almost 70% and, as a result, the country looks set to battle cardiovascular problems for many years to come.

Multiple Sclerosis - Canada has the highest rate of the autoimmune condition in the world, and it is still not known what causes it. It is estimated that over 100,000 Canadians are living with the condition which is most commonly detected in those between the ages of 18 and 40. Incredibly Canada’s rates of the illness are 28% greater than in the second highest placed country - Denmark.

The disease attacks myelin, the nerves’ protective covering. This causes inflammation and damage to the myelin which is necessary for the transmission of nerve impulses through the body's nervous fibres. Minor damage can allow nerve impulses travel with minor interruptions. However in cases where the damage is more substantial the nerve channels may be completely ineffective.

Multiple Sclerosis manifests itself in a range of symptoms; these can range from a lack of coordination, vision problems, bladder problems and even mood changes. This can make working with patients suffering from the condition a complex task.

Cancer - Remains the biggest killer in the country (more than 75,000 every year) with 40% of those deaths being as a result of lung or colorectal cancers. Skin is the most common cancer in the country however, whilst further improvements to the way it’s treated are being invested heavily in to prevent skin cancer becoming a bigger killer.

Worldwide millions is being ploughed into the fight against Cancer, and Canada is no different. New techniques are being worked on in some of the country’s high tech facilities, with the hope that one day a cure for the disease will be found.

Alcohol Addiction - Alcohol is a big issue in Canada, with the Canadians drinking 50% more than the world’s average. This addiction is common and does not require solely psychiatric help, with group therapy and better education often being enough to convince people to turn away from drink.

Alcohol abuse leads to liver conditions and substantially increases a person’s risk of at least 7 types of cancer, along with various other physical illnesses which can require medical treatment.

Recent statistics suggest that alcohol is the main cause of roughly 8% of deaths in Canada.

Canada is a stunning country, which has plenty to offer a medics looking to escape from the NHS. As well as this the country’s natural beauty and relaxed work/life balance are making it increasingly popular with medical professional looking for a change in scenery from the Gulf.

If a move to the country appeals to you, register on our website - and start your journey to a more rewarding career today.

Start your journey today by registering on our website.