Today comes this plea from three of the province’s top medical people for the region to work together and fund more transit.
Why? Because transit has a large positive impact on population health, and health care costs.
Is transit really a public health issue or should we just stick to germs and vaccines? The reality is that our biggest health challenges in the 21st century are injuries and chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Together, these conditions are responsible for three quarters of the burden of disease and health care costs in British Columbia.
We know the “vaccines” that are effective against these problems: physical activity, good nutrition, not smoking, sufficient sleep, stress reduction, a healthy and safe environment, social connectedness — and sufficient income to achieve all of these things. . . .
. . . We are writing today to urge local and provincial governments to seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fund critical transportation infrastructure and to build a modern, health-promoting transportation network. The result will be significantly fewer of our citizens burdened with avoidable illnesses and injuries — and healthier, more livable communities for all.
Dr. Perry Kendall is B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Patricia Daly is chief medical health officer for Vancouver Coastal Health and Dr. Victoria Lee is chief medical health officer for Fraser Health Authority.