Solving health inequalities is a moral imperative
Regional representatives met on 15 May for an AER Breakfast Briefing on what is often considered a side-effect to the economic crisis: health inequalities. Göran Henriksson, Senior Public Health Advisor from the region of Västra Götaland (SE) shared his experience in tackling this burden:
“Health inequalities are generated by unfair societal processes, to the point that a population’s health divide is a good indicator for social sustainability”.
This health divide prevents certain groups from reaching full potential and constitutes a waste in human resources: in Västra Götaland, health inequalities account for 1600 premature deaths and 233 million euros in productivity losses each year.
But this need not to be the case: political actions can stop the vicious circle and correct the systemic differences. The Public Health Committee of Västra Götaland designed an Action Plan to address the issue: bringing together stakeholders, experts and politicians foresees actions throughout the life course of the citizens, from their conception to their old age.