Public health experts urge government to consider health effects of austerity

Austere or not? UK coalition government budgets and health inequalities

From Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine

The impact of austerity measures on health should be taken into account by the coalition government before it pursues further cuts. Public health experts, writing this article, say that the intellectual foundations of austerity as an economic response to crises have been debunked and that evidence of austerity’s risks to health should be enough to give politicians pause.

The authors said that austerity policies can be expected to impact health in several ways, each difficult to reverse or avoid in the absence of strong social safety nets that mitigate risks to health. Lead author, Dr Aaron Reeves of the University of Oxford, said: “Recent reports indicate that austerity is likely to widen health inequalities. There can be a direct effect through cutting effective treatment programmes. Then there are the indirect effects of increasing unemployment, poverty, homelessness and other socio-economic risk factors.”

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Article details
Aaron Reeves, Sanjay Basu, Martin McKee, Michael Marmot, and David Stuckler
Austere or not? UK coalition government budgets and health inequalities
J R Soc Med 0141076813501101, first published on September 11, 2013 doi:10.1177/0141076813501101


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