Income inequality is a leading problem for developed nations—one that has profound negative impacts on health and the economy. The World Health Organization explains the prevalence of health inequity as an “unequal distribution of health-damaging experiences that is not in any sense a ‘natural’ phenomenon but is the result of a toxic combination of poor social policies and programmes, unfair economic arrangements, and bad politics.”
The World Health Organization, the United Nations, and the Public Health Agency of Canada have been urging action on the socio-environmental determinants of health for decades. The barrier to understanding the prerequisites for health is not evidence; the evidence has been absolute for decades.
What is missing is the will of those in power to ensure that these prerequisites for health are accessible to the public. Our current biomedical emphasis on health fails to understand the significance of the cause of our issues, not just the symptoms.