Canadian Medical Association

Canadian Medical Association

May 29, 2006 09:00 ET

CMA: Newfoundland and Labrador Doctors Tackle 'Invisible Epidemic'

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 29, 2006) -

Injury prevention kicks off physician program to promote healthier lifestyles

Newfoundland and Labrador's doctors today launched a pilot project to help patients lead safe and healthy lives and reduce the risk of preventable injury - a leading cause of death and hospitalization in Canada.

Canada's Doctors: your partners in healthy living is a joint initiative of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association (NLMA) that supports and encourages safe and healthy living. The pilot, which was launched today, will provide doctors with tools so that they can help seniors and parents of toddlers make choices that reduce the risk of preventable injuries, which are considered an invisible epidemic by some public health experts.

"Doctors aren't just there to treat people when they are ill, they also play a critical role in promoting healthy and safe lifestyles that keep people out of doctors' offices and hospitals," said Dr. Ruth Collins-Nakai, President of the CMA. "As doctors, we see the tragic results of preventable injuries on a daily basis. By counseling our patients who are at high risk of injury - in other words children and seniors - as well as their families, we hope to raise awareness and to reduce this toll in Canada."

"The relationships we have with our patients are strong and often last a lifetime. We see our patients through good times, such as the birth of a baby, and through challenging times, such as serious illness or injury. We are also there for them with advice and support to help them prevent illness and injury, and take steps toward healthy living," said NLMA President Dr. Tom Costello. "This program is a new tool for doctors that will help us raise awareness and inform our patients about injury prevention, an important aspect of healthy living."

Canada's Doctors: your partners in healthy living will provide interested Newfoundland and Labrador doctors with counseling tools, safety checklists and a hot water tank temperature tester card for their patients. The program is voluntary and is available to any member of the CMA and NLMA.

Television and radio ads encouraging Canadians to make healthy life choices with the support of their doctors will run across the province beginning today.

Injuries represent a serious problem in Canada, both in terms of human and economic costs:

- In Canada, childhood injuries cause four times more deaths than
childhood disease.
- Falls account for 85 per cent of injury hospitalization in seniors.
- Over $1.1 billion is spent on treatment of seniors due to falls
- The economic cost of childhood injury is an estimated $5.1 billion
a year.

More information on injury prevention and on Canada's Doctors: your partners in Healthy Living can be found at

Contact Information

  • Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association
    Lynn Barter
    Director, Communications & Public Affairs
    (709) 726-7424 ext. 306
    Canadian Medical Association
    Carole Lavigne
    Manager, Media relations
    1 (800) 663-7336 ext. 1266