Pre-existing social inequalities contributed to the UK by recording the highest mortality rates from covid in Europe, with top public health authorities saying the lives of many children would be permanently burned if the problem was not addressed.
Sir Michael Marmot, known for his important work for social determinants of health, argued in a new report that families below the social and economic level were lost before the epidemic and now they are losing more health, jobs and more. , Life and educational opportunities.
Build Back Fair, Marmot said in the report that the way these social inequalities have to be tackled and how things will return before the epidemic is not enough. “We can’t afford not to do it,” he said.
“It’s not easy to accept that we’re right for children to go to bed hungry … we’ve got some misconceptions about the need for stinginess … what do we want society to do?” We want to guarantee the health and well-being of all members and the fair distribution and well-being of health. We just can’t afford not to do it. Government debt is not an excuse. We know the misconception of economics.
He paints a grim picture, underrated by statistics showing that the most disadvantaged families have suffered the most. Men and women living in overcrowded areas in the most deprived areas of the country are dying from covid. The highest mortality rate for those working in the career and leisure and service industries is under 644 years. Black, Asian and ethnic minorities who work as taxi drivers, bus drivers, security guards, caretakers and other low-paying occupations have a higher risk of death.
He found that children and young people living in disadvantaged areas were incompletely affected by the lockdown. “One of the effects of the epidemic was to increase the educational divide,” Marmot said. Very few children were left behind as a result of the closure of the least deprived schools. Children among the most disadvantaged were reported to be four to six months behind.
“Food insecurity has increased dramatically,” he said, and there is a high rate of unhappiness or frustration, especially among young people. Young people were also at greater risk of losing their jobs in the epidemic.
Marmot sharply criticized the government, which failed to act on its report in February, which shows that austerity policies have already damaged health and reduced life expectancy in England.
“Before the epidemic, life expectancy had stopped growing, inequality was increasing, and the life expectancy of the poorest people was declining,” he said. “It simply came to our notice then. And then the high mortality rate during the epidemic means that society is not doing some good. “
The recommendations of his report address the causes, he said, in relation to administration and political culture, as well as in the broader drafts of power, money and resources, and those who do not.
“We need to reverse the reduction in government spending – I said we were prepared to be sick. We became unhealthy and came to the epidemic. This means that we should have a fair distribution of health and wellness based on all the policies. ”
Funding for public health was cut in years of austerity. “In 2012 the budget for public health in England was reduced by 40% and local government spending on public health was cut by about ড 600.
“So before February / March, when we should have set up national testing, trace and isolation systems, public health should have organized it,” he said.
However, it did not happen that way. At first, the policy was not meant to be, he said, and then it was handed over to a private company “and it doesn’t matter if the person running it has no skills, because we know private solutions are always better than public solutions so we I will give it to the private sector for management.
“Lots of mistakes. Our public health, local public health – they should use the funds properly, they should be made to do it. “
Jennifer Dixon, chief executive of the Health Foundation, said there was no doubt the epidemic would continue for years to come. “Reducing epidemic losses in education, employment and income should be at the center of the government’s plan for recovery and leveling.
“For young people, this means practical help in finding employment and training for access to better jobs. As we reorganize, it is important that these measures ensure that the younger generation surviving the epidemic does not experience its effects on their health throughout their lives, ”he said.
“It is not at all unacceptable that in such a medium country there is such a strong division between the richest and the poorest in society. The report should serve as an important step in government investment for the health of this nation in the long run, because in these challenging times of uncertainty, closing this gap has never been more important, ”said Professor Dame Parveen Kumar, chairman of BMA Science.