The Greater Nanaimo Cycling Coalition is working hard on getting all cycling groups to work together with other groups and organizations to create critical mass. Our city needs a paradigm shift and people have to be told the REAL costs of our infrastructure.
Currently we spend 40% of our Provincial Budget on Healthcare. Money well spend you would say. And we agree that people's health should be first and foremost together with safety, prosperity and economic growth.
Please take a good close look at that Healthcare budget and you will observe that 80% is used for the acute care of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses.
Stepping up to the challenge
Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, are estimated by the World Health Organization to cause 36 million deaths around the world each year. In Canada, few people are untouched by chronic disease or injuries: three out of five people over the age of twenty live with one of these diseases, and four out of five are at risk.
This has a significant impact, including on our ability to work and participate in community life. With costs of treatment rising, and people living longer, there are concerns about costs for our health care system.
Some of the factors that put us at risk for these diseases are beyond our control, such as our age and our genetic make-up. Other major factors are within our control, such as eating well, getting enough exercise, avoiding tobacco and using alcohol safely.
Experts around the world agree that making these lifestyle changes vastly reduces our risk of disease and injury. What is needed are broad-based partnerships beyond the health sector -- governments, stakeholders, the private sector, individual citizens -- to support people in making these changes so that we can prevent chronic disease and injury.
What can we do?
Well we need to get people moving and the best way to do that, is making walking and cycling part of people's daily life. By getting people to walk or cycle short distances instead of taking the car. Even taking transit involves walking to and fro to the bus stop.
With this in mind the GNCC is on a crusade to get people on the go and is activily looking to partner with every organization that advocates an active lifestyle, such as walking and cycling groups, gyms,sports clubs as well as health organizations, government agencies and community service organizations. Together for a better, healthier Nanaimo.