Saskatchewan

Study shows gap between Saskatoon's rich and poor

A new report is revealing a disturbing gap between the rich and poor in Saskatoon.
A new study by Saskatoon's health region is finding that the risk of babies dying is much higher in the city's core neighbourhoods.

A new report is revealing a disturbing gap between the rich and poor in Saskatoon.

Released by the city's health region, the study shows that the risk of babies dying is much higher in Saskatoon's core neighbourhoods.

The report examined births from 2007 to 2009 and found the city's infant mortality rate ranged from 3.5 to 7.2 infant deaths per 1,000 live births compared to the Canadian average of 5.1 per 1,000 live births in 2007.

That puts Saskatoon on par with the national average — except for in the poorest neighbourhoods, where that death rate is twice as high.

"We are not happy with (the numbers) at the core," said Dr. Johnmark Opondo, the city's deputy medical health officer. "It is still much higher than the overall average in the city."

The study found that the risk of a baby dying in inner-city Saskatoon is comparable to countries like Panama and Albania. It also says that socio-economic status is the highest risk factor.

The health region is promising action. It's going to begin working with expecting moms in Saskatoon's poorest areas to make sure they have access to the care they need.