I just came across an online article that gives doctors the option of prescribing “National Park Visits” instead of drugs.
The National Parks RX is a co-operative with the BC Parks Foundation, mainly available in British Columbia.
Scandinavian countries, long ago, recognized multiple advantages of a healthy population and encouraged citizens to live a more wholesome lifestyle. If a fit population requires less healthcare, would it not make sense that healthcare subsidies encourage that lifestyle?
In a CEOworld Magazine article in April 2021, Sophie Ireland reports on the countries with the best health care systems. In her findings, Finland ranked 12th, Norway 15th, and Sweden 28th. Canada ranked 23rd.
At the 2022 winter Olympics Norway, with a population of 5.3 million people, ranked #1 in both gold medals and total medals. On the other hand, with 38 million people, Canada ranked only 11th in gold medals and 4th in overall. With a population of only 5.5 million people, Finland beat us at our national sport of hockey and went on to win the gold medal.
If a fit population requires less healthcare, it costs less money. What would happen if we extended this across the country. Why stop there? Can provincial governments authorize the medical profession to prescribe time spent in our provincial parks? Not everyone has access to a national or provincial park. In Ontario, there are five national parks but 340 provincial parks. Still, not everyone can get to a provincial park. So, why not include local conservation sites?
It’s time to look at the big picture. If prescribing time in nature is going to reduce the cost of healthcare, whether on a provincial or national basis, is it not worth considering?