Health inequalities under New Labour

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.330.7506.1507 (Published 23 June 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:1507

Relative rather than absolute gaps are important over time and place

  1. Anne Low, director of public health,
  2. Allan Low, freelance health economist (alow@btinternet.com)
  1. Derwentside Primary Care Trust, Shotley Bridge Community Hospital, Consett, County Durham DH8 0NB
  2. Newcastle upon Tyne NE17 7AY

    EDITOR—We agree with Shaw et al that the method of measuring inequality in health outcomes used in setting the government targets is problematic (A Low, UKPHA (UK Public Health Association), 13th annual public health forum, Gateshead, April 2005).1 However, the government's targets are based on reducing relative gaps in life expectancy and infant mortality.2 The slope index of inequality (SII) used by Shaw et al measures absolute gaps. …

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