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Beyond health care

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: (Published 03 December 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:1454
  1. Ken Judge

    Attention should be directed at the social determinants of ill health

    The aims of health policy ought not to be contentious. Topping the list should be a commitment to improve the length and quality of life of everyone and to minimise avoidable differences in health status among social groups. The corollaries of such goals include improving our understanding of the determinants of health and intervening in public policy to deliver the required outcomes. Unfortunately, no evidence exists that any political party in Britain has grasped the extent to which thinking must change. Debates about the financing, governance, and structure of the NHS remain as dominant as they are largely unconstructive. What is needed now is a radical change of direction away from tinkering with the organisation of health care towards developing new approaches to health policy.

    The importance of this proposition is illustrated in a new book produced under the auspices of …

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