"Social injustice is killing people on a grand scale." This is how Commissioners of a report at the World Health Organisation assess the legacy of a "toxic combination of bad policies, economics, and politics".
They further elaborate: "Economic growth is raising incomes in many countries but increasing national wealth alone does not necessarily increase national health. Without equitable distribution of benefits, national growth can even exacerbate inequities. Nordic countries, for example, have followed policies that encouraged equality of benefits and services, full employment, gender equity and low levels of social exclusion."
No stone must be left unturned in our quest to relieve the zeitgeist of its severe stress. We must ponder and act upon the report's recommendations:
- Improve daily living conditions, including the circumstances in which people are born, grow, live, work and age;
- Tackle the inequitable distribution of power, money and resources – the structural drivers of those conditions – globally, nationally and locally;
- Measure and understand the problem and assess the impact of action.