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Social Inequalities and Health - The Black Report

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Introduction

´╗┐Israel Eguaogie HNC Health and Social Care-Care Practice Unit 8: Social Issues in Healthcare 11-01-2010 Assignment 2 The term health inequalities describe the fact that health varies between individuals: the term refer to the systematic differences in the health of groups occupying unequal positions in society (socioeconomic groups). In 1977 a committee was set up by the Labour Government headed by Sir Douglas Black to research the health chances of the population of Britain. Sir Douglas Black and his team came out with a report on inequalities health with emphasis on social class differences in health. This report is referred to as ?The black report?. The black report confirmed that there is a class gradient to Health, thus the inequalities associated to social class. The report however, used four theories to explain social class differences in health, which are: The behaviour / cultural theory ? this explains self negligence among the lower class group, e.g. Irregular or no medical check-ups, poor / wrong dieting, insufficient exercise, irregular visit to the dentist. It also emphasized that the lower class engage in activities detrimental to health, e.g. smoking, Alcohol consumption. This argument sees the individual as bearing primary responsibilities for poor health (Anthony G. ...read more.

Middle

Each can be used to provide a hierarchical classification of socioeconomic position: from no qualifications to degree-level qualifications, from unskilled manual jobs to professional jobs, and from low income to high income. A northwest-southeast divide in social class inequalities existed in Great Britain at the start of the 21st century, with each of the seven social classes having higher rates of poor health in Wales, the North East and North West regions of England than elsewhere. The widest health gap between social classes, however, was in Scotland and London, adding another dimension to the policy debate on resource allocation and targets to tackle the health divide. The following table shows death rates by sex and social (occupational) class in those aged 15 to 64 years in rates per 1000 population. It relates to England and Wales 1971 and males refer to all males but females refer to married women only and classify them by their husband's social class. Social (Occupational) Class Males Females Ratio M / F I (Professional) 3.98 2.15 1.85 II (Intermediate) 5.54 2.85 1.94 IIIn (Skilled non-manual) 5.80 2.76 1.96 IIIm (Skilled manual) 6.08 3.41 1.78 IV (Partly Skilled) ...read more.

Conclusion

10.5 6.3 5.8 5.3 Inside marriage: Semi-skilled 12.7 7.2 5.9 6.4 Inside marriage: Unskilled 15.7 8.4 7.8 6.8 Inside marriage: Other 15.6 11.8 8.3 8.8 All inside marriage 10.4 6.3 5.4 5.2 Outside marriage: Joint registration 14.1 8.7 6.9 6.8 Outside marriage: Sole registration 16.2 10.8 7.2 7.3 All outside marriage 15.0 9.3 7.0 6.9 Footnotes 1 - Deaths within one year of birth 2 - Based on occupation of father. The following table shows birth weights of babies by father's social class and those with no father acknowledged, from Chamberlain 1975. It shows how going through the social classes down to where no father was acknowledged there was a progressive decline in babies over 3000g and an progressive increase in babies under 2500g. Birth Weight Social class of father Per cent who were I and II III IV and V No father acknowledged less than 2500g 4.5 5.6 8.2 9.5 more than 3000g 81.0 76.3 72.7 66.7 The UK population is now growing at its fastest rate since the 1960s due to advance medical technology. There is however impacts on the society like; the working population will have an increased burden to support the non-working elderly population, different strains on healthcare provision and cost of pension. % children with mental disorder ...read more.

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