Labor welcomes Professor Sir Michael Marmot back to Australia, this time to deliver the 2016 Boyer Lectures.
Sir Michael is President of the World Medical Association and Director of the Institute of Health Equity. His Boyer Lecture series is titled Fair Australia: Social Justice and the Health Gap.
Sir Michael’s visit is a call to action on health inequality in Australia, and on the causes of that inequality – the social determinants of health.
While we think of Australia as an egalitarian society, there are huge differences in health outcomes across our population. Sir Michael has spent his career studying what he calls the ‘causes of the causes’ of that inequality – the various factors that shape our health, like education, urban planning, employment and the criminal justice system.
Inequalities in health are particularly pronounced for some Australians, like Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. But Sir Michael and his Australian partners have shown that all Australians are shaped by their environments and affected by inequalities.
For example, as Flinders University Professor Fran Baum notes, men in the Sydney suburb of Fairfield East are twice as likely to die aged under 75 than men in the wealthier suburb of Woollahra, in the Prime Minister’s electorate of Wentworth.
And as Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh shows in his book Battlers and Billionaires, across Australia low-income people die around six years younger than high-income Australians.
While the causes of this inequality are complex, Sir Michael and other experts agree that national leadership and investment must be part of the solution. Only Labor is committed to tackling health inequality, and to improving the social determinants of health across all portfolios.
Sir Michael’s first Boyer Lecture will be broadcast on ABC Radio National at 1pm this Saturday 3 September. Labor will be listening – and we hope the Turnbull Government will tune in, too.
FRIDAY, 2 SEPTEMBER 2016
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