Posted on: 31st January, 2014
16th September, 2020
Taking action to reduce health inequalities is a matter of social justice.
In developing strategies for tackling health inequalities we need to confront the social gradient in health not just the difference between the worst off and everybody else. There is clear evidence when we look across countries that national policies make a difference and that much can be done in cities, towns and local areas. But policies and interventions must not be confined to the health care system; they need to address the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. The evidence shows that economic circumstances are important but are not the only drivers of health inequalities. Tackling the health gap will take action, based on sound evidence, across the whole of society.
Sir Michael Marmot has been Professor of Epidemiology at University College London since 1985. He is the author of The Health Gap: the challenge of an unequal world (Bloomsbury: 2015), and Status Syndrome: how your place on the social gradient directly affects your health (Bloomsbury: 2004). Professor Marmot is the Advisor to the WHO Director-General, on social determinants of health, in the new WHO Division of Healthier Populations. He takes up a Distinguished Visiting Professorship at Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2019, and is the recipient of the WHO Global Hero Award.