Does wealth mean health equity?

Posted 13 Dec 2019

What is the relationship between a nation’s wealth and the equitable distribution of health outcomes amongst its population?

With the help of a Flinders Foundation Health Seed Grant, Dr Toby Freeman, Senior Research Fellow and Deputy Director of the Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity intends to answer the question.

We know that the wealthier a country, generally the better its health outcomes, such as life expectancy. However, we don’t currently know whether there is a link between how wealthy a country is, and how equitably health outcomes are distributed in the population.

Health inequities derive from inequitable distribution of resources. While we understand that the drivers of health outcomes differ from country to country, Dr Freeman’s research will help us better understand the drivers of health inequities within different countries. His research is anticipated to lead to greater clarity on policy actions and pathways for health equity internationally.

A nation may have a high average life expectancy but may have inequitable distribution of health outcomes amongst its population. Australia is a prime example – Australia punches above its weight. Yet health inequity in Australia is considerable and growing.

Project title: What is the relationship between a nation's wealth and health inequities?

Lead researcher: Dr Toby Freeman


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