Public policy should address the social factors behind ill health

eneral, World Health Organisation) states: "Some links between poverty and health seem obvious but in practice they can be complex and paradoxical. As Marmot points out, there are countries with a gross national product of US$10,000, which have a higher average life expectancy than others with a gross national product of over $30,000, and some social groups within the same country have a life-expectancy that is 20 years lower then the national average although their infant mortality rates are low. When the specific causes of such anomalies are known, there is a strong basis for corrective action. Health improves when that action is taken, and health systems are run and financed more effectively."


Contact: Joe Santangelo

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