The acting Minister of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare, María Luisa Carcedo, inaugurated the seminar 'The role of health professionals in addressing equity', organized by the EuroHealthNet platform and the general directorates of Public Health, Quality and Innovation and Professional Regulation.
"We know that many of the inequalities in health will not be resolved by working from the health system, but we also know that the way in which the provision of health and health policies is organized can be very powerful tools in the creation of societies. more fair and equitable, "he explained.
The minister recalled that the social sciences have shown that the dominant economic and social model in a society is determinant for the health status of the population. "We know that the higher educational level of families, particularly mothers, the increase in household income or the simple fact that families eat together, are factors that improve the health of its members," he explained.
He has also referred to the so-called 'Glasgow effect', defined by the epidemiologist Michael Marmot, who chaired the Commission on the social determinants of health of the WHO According to this, the life expectancy of a male born in the Scottish city of Glasgow varied up to 28 years depending on whether he was born in a poor neighborhood or a rich one.
Carcedo has concluded that the health system is not the main determinant of health. However, it can mitigate part of the effect of other determinants on inequalities. At the same time, health services can also contribute to inequality.
Therefore, the minister has insisted that in the 1980s a National Health System of universal character was designed. "Public health improves the income of all households: households with the richest 20% improve their income by 7% and households located in the poorest 20% of the distribution improve disposable income by 35%," he argued.
Carcedo has listed some of the interventions to improve equity in health, such as universal access to primary education, programs to reduce poverty (such as minimum insertion income) and active employment policies.
"You can also improve the health status of the population in need through programs directly linked to health," he explained. He has listed several examples, such as free lunch or school lunch programs, providing fruit and healthy foods in restaurants and on the job, improving early detection of diabetes and hypertension, and programs for Stop smoking focused on the most vulnerable population.
The minister considers it necessary to "take action" and ensure that health professionals are trained in the faculties and hospitals to perceive, study, understand and reduce social inequalities in health.
Spain participates in EuroHealthNet since 1999. The seminar held today aims to advance the health equity training of health personnel and precedes the Annual Assembly of EuroHealthNet, which this year will be held in the Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare.