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Social work and global health inequalitiesPractice and policy developments$
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Paul Bywaters, Eileen McLeod, and Lindsey Napier

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847421951

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847421951.001.0001

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Health, equity and social justice

Health, equity and social justice

(p.37) 3 Health, equity and social justice
Social work and global health inequalities

Stephen M. Rose

Policy Press

This chapter examines the social causes of chronic disease and possible avenues for social-work practice. Inequity in population wealth inevitably brings with it a rationalising neoliberal ideology, a reliance on market rather than government intervention, and the reallocation of resources needed for human development. Social-policy and social-welfare benefits and services, globally, will either move in this direction or be challenged. Social work has the opportunity to assert the importance of evolving forms of health policy and health-care delivery. Doing so requires that we refocus our attention on the relationship between health, equity, and social justice. An alternative theory and research base that includes social epidemiology can contribute to revitalised advocacy for appropriate patient care. Equally important, globally and locally, is challenging neoliberal reliance on market solutions, whether these exist as forms of privatising health care or World Trade Organization involvement in promoting poverty.

Keywords:   chronic disease, social work, social justice, poverty, population wealth, inequity, social welfare, health, equity, social epidemiology

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