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Studying health inequalitiesAn applied approach$
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Jonathan Wistow, Tim Blackman, David Byrne, and Gerald Wistow

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447305286

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447305286.001.0001

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(p.205) Nine Conclusions
Studying health inequalities

Jonathan Wistow

Tim Blackman

David Byrne

Gerald Wistow

Policy Press

This concluding chapter draws the discussion to a close by considering three key issues that have arisen over the course of the book: the role of the NHS and others in tackling health inequalities; governance of health inequalities; and methodological and ideological considerations. Health is too often conceived of as an individual and medical issue in the way in which it is both resourced and understood. This is significant in terms of how public resources are prioritised between NHS, public health, local government and community and voluntary sectors. Furthermore, given the significance of multiple and non-linear causation for a wicked problem such as health inequalities it follows that we should take a research approach that concentrates on the complex interactions between people and settings. Finally, inequalities in health are profoundly important to peoples’ quality and extent of life – an equitable society is one in which good health is evenly distributed across social groups and does not follow a divisive social gradient. Consequently, there is scope to consider health as a key focus for redistribution and one that may help to move equality back up the ideological and political agenda.

Keywords:   nhs, governance, methodology, ideology, equality and redistribution

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