The data are in: people living with racism, low incomes and crowded housing are most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The attention it has drawn to these inequities has healthcare providers re-examining their practices with respect to virtual care, active outreach and health equity.
However, many are not sure what to do next. In addition to structural and policy changes, patients and healthcare practitioners need a straightforward, practice-based solution to help them take immediate action that can address health and social needs in real time. They need supportive structures that enable them to use both COVID-19 testing and routine healthcare visits as opportunities to collect vital sociodemographic data and to screen and refer people for access to food, housing, income supports, culturally safe supports and community connection. They need social prescribing, a way to integrate health care with community and social services to support people’s immediate social needs.
- "Prescriptions are for more than just drugs"- Kate Mulligan and Kavita Mehta, Feb. 6, 2020
- "Implementing social interventions in primary care in Canada: A qualitative exploration of lessons learned from leaders in the field" Published February 16 2023