The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World -

The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World


ISBN: 9781408858004
Published: 2015
Format: Paperback

$29.99


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For any number of books, anywhere in Australia

One of the world’s leading doctors, a public intellectual and educated in Australia reveals social injustice to be the greatest threat to health in the world, and explains how socio-economic status directly affects health

 

There are dramatic differences in health between countries and within countries. But this is not a simple matter of rich and poor. A poor man in Glasgow is rich compared to the average Indian, but the Glaswegian’s life expectancy is 8 years shorter. The Indian is dying of infectious disease linked to his poverty; the Glaswegian of violent death, suicide, heart disease linked to a rich country’s version of disadvantage. In all countries, people at relative social disadvantage suffer health disadvantage, dramatically so. Within countries, the higher the social status of individuals the better is their health.

 

These health inequalities defy usual explanations. Conventional approaches to improving health have emphasised access to technical solutions - improved medical care, sanitation, and control of disease vectors; or behaviours - smoking, drinking - obesity, linked to diabetes, heart disease and cancer. These approaches only go so far. Creating the conditions for people to lead flourishing lives, and thus empowering individuals and communities, is key to reduction of health inequalities.

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