Health inequalities (2)

May 31, 2010

Gradually I arrived in my study on health inequalities at a final draft which I could discuss with faculty and research workers here. In April I gave a first presentation at the ‘Health of the nations’ study group at the Center of European Studies and more recently I presented the study and its conclusions at a ‘Work in Progress’ session at the Harvard Center for Development and Population Studies.

In general, the conclusions of the study refer to

– the existence in all countries studied of an important data source on health and its determinants in particular related to socio-economic variables and resulting from national health interview surveys (HIS)  and for some countries also a health examination survey (HES);

– the existing analysis and reporting of these national datasources by socio-economic variables but also the additional potential for further analysis of these national HIS/HES data sources and for pooling research data;

– a description of national actions on reducing health inequalities (with a potential of) using these HIS and HES data; these national actions are often scattered among different programmes; only half of the countries studied have (a proposal for) an overall action programme on health inequalities and even less countries have started a consistent monitoring of these actions through indicators, sometimes against targets set.

In addition the study includes recommendations for the future and analysis of the European HIS/European HES for monitoring health inequalities.

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