The Manitoba Centre for Health Policy (MHCP) recently released its 2019 Regional Health Authorities (RHA Indicators Atlas), a comprehensive report which is updated every five years.
The RHA Indicators Atlas provides data on a wide range of health indicators that examine the population across the lifespan. As noted by MHCP, the overall health status of Manitobans continues to improve over time, though we are living with higher rates of chronic diseases. These paired findings are likely related to improvements in prevention, detection, and medical care, which have lowered mortality rates for many diseases, allowing residents to live longer although with more health problems.
Some key Regional findings for PMH from the 2019 RHA Indicators Atlas include:
- Life expectancy at birth has increased for both males (77.3 to 78.3 years) and females (82.2 to 83.3 years)
- Premature mortality rate, defined as the number of deaths among residents before the age of 75, has also decreased
- Teen pregnancy and teen birth rates have decreased significantly over time
- The number of new cases of cancer has decreased slightly and the five year survival rates are the best in the province
- Although hypertension (high blood pressure) rates remain unchanged in the region, heart attacks decreased significantly over time along with stroke rates, which are the lowest in the province
- The incidence and prevalence of diabetes has increased significantly over time
- The proportion of residents diagnosed with mood and anxiety disorders are the highest in the province
- The percent of residents diagnosed with a respiratory disease (asthma, chronic or acute bronchitis, emphysema or chronic airway obstruction) increased significantly over time. According to this measure, PMH is by far the highest in the province and is largely driven by residents of Brandon.
- Brandon has lower than average percentages of children considered ‘very ready’ for school according to Healthy Child Manitoba Early Development Index findings and higher than average percentage of children considered ‘not ready’ for school
Data are presented by health region, then by Zone and District level wherever possible. Specific measures at the regional level may look quite good overall because areas of the region that are not doing well are mixed in with areas that are doing well so the end result can be a bit misleading. If we take that broad regional snapshot and drill deeper to the Zone or District level, we often find important differences in health measures between areas of our region. This is an important exercise because health issues in one district may not be the same health issues or require the same type of program or service as in another District.
Members of the PMH Planning & Innovation team are currently analyzing data from the RHA Atlas as part of the process to produce a comprehensive Community Health Assessment (CHA) report, which will be released later this year. The CHA is a key source of information to support strategic and operational planning in the region. PMH remains committed to addressing health inequities by targeting efforts and resources to areas of greatest need based on evidence and data from the RHA Indicators Atlas is critical to the planning process.
-Submitted by: Nancy McPherson, Population Health Planner Analyst, Planning and Innovation, PMH.
Members of the PMH Planning & Innovation Team with the 2019 RHA Indicators Atlas. From front left are Amy Ostash, Nancy McPherson and Jody Allan. Back left are Nancy Tregunna, Pamela McTavish, Colin Williams and Angie Allen. Missing from the photo is Michelle Gaber.