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Social policy more important for health than medicines, conference told

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 18 December 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:1592
  1. Tessa Richards
  1. BMJ

    Policies which improve people's social and physical environment should be pursued to promote public health in the next century, a group of international experts concluded at a meeting last week in London organised by the Office of Health Economics.

    Spending more money on health care and measures to change individuals' behaviour is unlikely to have as much effect as investing in policies that promote sustainable development, protect the environment, promote equity, and tackle the social gradient in health.

    Mortality in the United Kingdom has fallen steadily in the past 25 years, largely due to a continuing decline in deaths from infectious disease and ischaemic heart disease. Morbidity …

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