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Europe’s governments should set targets to reduce health inequalities

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b2075 (Published 21 May 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b2075
  1. Tessa Richards

    The failure of European governments to tackle increasing inequalities in health in their populations is due to lack of political will and limited knowledge of what policy interventions work, speakers agreed at a recent meeting in London.

    The meeting was organised by the London School of Economics and the European Commission, which is due to launch a new initiative to tackle health inequalities across the European Union later this year.

    Few governments, take health inequalities seriously enough, speakers emphasised. Governments should follow the lead of the Netherlands, which in 1989,adopted a national policy to reduce health inequalities and is shortly to adopt objective targets by which progress can be measured.

    Health inequalities in the Netherlands are below the EU average, but the gap in life expectancy between those in …

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