Doctors can do something about poverty

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7142.1456a (Published 09 May 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1456
  1. Iona Heath, Chairman, Inter-Collegiate Forum on Poverty and Healtha
  1. a On behalf of all who attended the meeting on poverty and health on 15-16 December 1997.

    EDITOR—The attitudes of doctors to poverty matter. In their individual behaviour and in the work of their medical associations, doctors can either contribute to the health of the poor or help to undermine it. This was the message of an international meeting in December in London on poverty and health, the fourth in a series that has already produced the London declaration on poverty and health and the Baltimore charter on partnership for a healthy urban future.1 The latest meeting was about how to turn the rhetoric of these statements into action.

    As the World Bank has coerced governments to reduce investment in state health sectors in the name of structural readjustment, so inadequately paid doctors and frightened, dissatisfied patients have been driven into the …

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