Socio Economic Inequaloty And Its Effect On Health

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Background “In the beginning, there was desire which was the first seed of mind,” says Rig-Veda, which probably is the earliest piece of literature known to mankind. This desire for a healthy family, healthy society and a healthy country drives individuals and governments alike. The government is supposed to create settings that will provide equal opportunity for an individual to fulfill these desires. There is an undisputed association between this social equality, social integration and health. The effect of social integration on health is conclusively documented in the theory of ‘social support’ [Cassel, 1976]1. The effect of social and economic inequality on health is profound too. Poverty, which is a result of social and economic inequality in a society, is detrimental to the health of population. The outcome indicators of health (mortality, morbidity and life expectancy) are all directly influenced by the standards of living of a given population. More so, it is not the absolute deprivation of income that matters, but the relative distribution of income [Wilkinson, 1992]2. Various international studies have documented a strong association between income inequality and excess mortality3 4. In a study by Kennedy et al, income inequality was shown to directly affect the total mortality in a given population [pUnequal Distribution of Healthcare Resources India. Healthcare resources in India though not adequate, are ample. There has been a definite growth in the overall healthcare resources and health related manpower in the last decade. The number of hospitals grew from 11,174 hospitals in 1991 (57% private) to 18,218 (75% private) in 20007. In 2000, the country had 1.25 million doctors and 0.8 million nurses. That translates into one doctor for every 1800 people. If other systems including Indigenous System of Medicine (ISM) and homeopathic medicine are

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