“The ambulance waiting at the bottom of the cliff”

Standard

Daniels, Kennedy and Kawachi, writing about the importance of addressing social determinants of health in their 2000 essay, “Justice is good for our health”:

Health is produced not merely by having access to medical prevention and treatment, but also, to a measurably greater extent, by the cumulative experience of social conditions over the course of one’s life. By the time a sixty-year-old heart attack victim arrives at the emergency room, bodily insults have accumulated over a lifetime. For such a person, medical care is, figuratively speaking, “the ambulance waiting at the bottom of the cliff.” Much contemporary discussion about reducing health inequalities by increasing access to medical care misses this point. We should be looking as well to improve social conditions–such as access to basic education, levels of material deprivation, a healthy workplace environment, and equality of political participation–that help to determine the health of societies.

Read the whole essay here.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s