Health Inequalities | 2016 Boyer Lecture – Mike Marmot – (a doctor, & President of the World Medical Association) Lecture No. 1

Health Inequalities | 2016 Boyer Lecture – Mike Marmot – (a doctor, & President of the World Medical Association) Lecture No. 1

– link between poverty/social deprivation & poor health & crime – not causal, but an indicator of risk for poor health outcomes
– NEETs (Not in Employment, Education or Training) – They have little to no societal buy-in and uncertain futures
– ill-health & crime cluster together
– The social determinants of health:
– The conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work & age which determine:
– How we raise our children
– the Education we get
– The neighbourhoods in which we live
– the work which we do
– Whether we have money to make ends meet
– Our social relationships
– How we care for the elderly
[These he calls the cause of the causes of ill-health]
[personal responsibility for health is but one part]
– Inequities in money, power, resources

– He believes the link between the nature of society and health determines whether that society is pro-human serving all so they can lead flourishing lives, or whether that society neglects the health of all in service of the few.
– he also believes that health inequality is unjust.

– The social gradient in health: The higher the grade of employment, the longer the life and the healthier the life of a person (typically)
– The gradient shows because all in society, not just the poor (Therefore we should all care)
– his research has found that the average person in the UK & Australia will typically have 8 fewer years of healthy life than those at the top societal strata (on average)
[This occurs for civil servants, & in fact all forms of hierarchical employment – top, middle & lower levels respectively]
[The fewer years of education the increased/higher risk of death]

– if you have little money & can’t afford the basics, your health will suffer
– & in the west, the poor may be able to afford the basics, but not:
– family security
– a secure neighbourhood
– good schools with motivated pupils
– job opportunities

– He argues that health not income is a better measure of national social progress, because incomes (&prices) are relative to where you live
– He argues that we should be aiming to reduce the health social gradient so that all enjoy health standards equivalent to those at the top
– This will require greater equity of power, money and resources

– He believes that people are often depressed because of their life circumstances


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