Essay: Health and Social Inequality
As per Dowler, (2007) the infant mortality rate in the poorest section of the British population had actually risen to 19% in 2003 from an earlier rate of 13% in 1997-99. Similarly, the report commissioned by the government’s Department of Health stated that during the intervening years of 1997-99 and 2001-03, life expectancy gap between the poor and the rich had further widened by 2% in the male population and 5% in the female population.
This was also indicative of a gender-driven inequality, and further contradicted the later assertion by Sir Michael Marmot, chairman of The Scientific Reference Group of Health Inequalities, (2007) stating that while the government would struggle to meet its 2010 policy pledge, it had succeeded in reducing child poverty from an earlier rate of 24% in 1999 to 20% in 2004.
Furthermore, a study by GMAP consulting (2005) revealed that in some areas, such as Greater Derby, the GP to patient ratio was as high as one GP for every 3,428 people; whereas, in other regions, such as the western isles, the ratio was as low as one GP for 680 residents. Trish Thompson, director of operations at Greater Derby PCT, however contradicted the findings of the study insisting that the GP-to-patient ratio for Greater Derby was in fact 1:11916. She did, however, concede that there were nationwide disparities in the level of access that patient’s had to primary care, and that the NHS needed another 10,000 GPs – roughly, a quarter of the existing total – in order to adequately meet the country’s healthcare requirements.
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