Healthcare and the City

A North American Perspective

Authored by: Mark W. Rosenberg

Handbook of Global Urban Health

Print publication date:  May  2019
Online publication date:  May  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138206250
eBook ISBN: 9781315465456
Adobe ISBN:


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The healthcare systems of Canada, the United States of America (USA) and Mexico share some similarities, but are also substantially different. The similarities stem from a shared belief in a western, biomedical model of health and healthcare. The three countries also share many of the same health problems that drive how healthcare is delivered in urban places. The differences, however, stem first and foremost from the political and economic differences that characterize the three countries and how these differences structure the consumption and geographies of healthcare. A second set of differences stem mainly from those parts of the population who are the most vulnerable to diseases, injury and violence and who are therefore most likely to show up in the respective healthcare systems. The analysis of the three countries and their urban populations shows that, while much has improved in health and healthcare in the cities of North America, what also remains true is that the overall improvements mask growing health inequities associated with differences in socio-economic status, race and where people live. Only through processes that engage the people living in their neighborhoods will the growing inequities in urban health in North American cities be reduced.

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