Maybe It’s Just Because The NHS Is Rubbish? Obamacare, Listen Up
ANOTHER report out, another report insisting that it’s the inequality that’s killing people:
Women and children in the UK would have longer and healthier lives if they lived in Cyprus, Italy or Spain, and Britain is facing “a public health timebomb”, according to a study by an expert on inequality and health.
Sir Michael Marmot, who is known worldwide for his work on the social determinants of health, says much of the rest of Europe takes better care of its families. Life expectancy for women and death rates among the under-fives are worse in the UK, where there is also more child poverty.
The public health time bomb Marmot describes is caused by the large number of so-called Neets – young adults who are not in education, employment or training.
Well, it could be that. But there is a problem with Marmot and his research. He just never does look properly for all of the various things that could be causing the problems he notes.
As an example, the last great big report he did on health inequality announced that it was all down to income inequality. If incomes are unequal then this makes the poor less healthy and thus that’s what we were seeing.
Nowhere, not even to reject the idea, did he once note that health inequality will cause income inequality. If you get some dreadful illness in your 40s you’re highly likely to have a lower income for the rest of your life, however long that turns out to be. So, we cannot lay the cause of all health inequality at the door of income inequality. Fort sometimes at least it is the health inequality that causes the income stuff.
The same problem is evident in this new report: OK, so child mortality is higher in the UK than it is in, say, the Czech Republic (where, by chance, I am right now. And it was only yesterday that someone was pointing out to me the excellent results of the Czech health care system) and female lifespans are shorter than they are in Cyprus.
OK, let’s take this as being true. Clearly one of the possibilities that has to be considered is that maybe it’s all because the NHS is just a little bit rubbish?
Not something the Professor does discuss: and thus we really shouldn’t be taking the report seriously.