For healthcare professionals only


Immorality of inaction on inequality

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: (Published 08 February 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j556

Re Let's stop using the phrase "health inequality".

Is it not time that we acknowledged that health inequality is the inevitable and inescapable consequence of socio-economic inequality? And that there is no hope of remedying the former while the latter persists. The history of our NHS, whose main purpose was to reduce health inequality, surely demonstrates this beyond all doubt. As such it might help to abandon the phrase “health inequality” altogether as it implies that its cure lies in new health policies, re-organisation, more expenditure on health etc. whereas the evidence flatly contradicts this approach.

Competing interests: No competing interests

12 February 2017
Justin A Robbins
Retired G.P.
Yealmpton Plymouth