A Saskatoon doctor says it is time we started trying to improve the social determinants of health, rather than just dealing with people once they are already sick.

Ryan Meili was in the bridge city on Friday to launch the Upstream Institute for a Healthy Society, which aims collect research from across the country on ways to assist those living on a low incomes, in substandard housing and with lower education — all things that play a large role in determining one’s health.

He says what we are currently doing in health care just isn’t working.

“We spend so much of our time and money on downstream, on fixing people once they’re already broken,” he says. “We need to spend more time on preparing rather than repairing and that means addressing the social determinants of health, addressing the life circumstances of people that determine whether they’re sick or ill rather than just fixing or patching them up once they’re already broken.”

The Upstream Institute is currently renting office space on 20th Street and has a staff of two employees.

Meili is holding similar launches in Regina, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto and Ottawa.

He finished a close second to NDP Leader Cam Broten in the Saskatchewan New Democrats’ leadership contest earlier this year.