An article on Stuff today shows “Social injustice is killing people on a grand scale”. It’s based on research by Dr. Jamie Pearce and indicates that those who live in poor areas are more likely to die early than those in wealthy areas.
Dr Pearce said the changing social and political environment disadvantaged poor people and areas, as well as Maori and Pacific people. Healthcare reforms which required people to pay more for their treatment led to poorer people making less use of health services, and unequal rationing of primary healthcare had affected some regions more than others
Labour has done some good work in health but they have still failed to address the root cause of this problem. As with the loanshark issue the answer is to make sure people have enough money. We need a population that is financially healthy to have a population that stays in good health and that means higher wages, higher benefits and better education.
And before our right-wing commentators get all excited I’ll remind them that the answer isn’t more tax cuts for the rich and it’s not increasing profit-driven healthcare and it’s certainly not telling people they can “go down the road“.
The market has failed and it’s costing people their lives.