Marmot Review consultation on health inequalities only refers to carbon and nanotech as pollutants

July 8, 2009 at 8:43 am | Posted in Analysis | Leave a comment
The Marmot Review logo

The Marmot Review logo

Readers of H&E may be interested in the sustainable healthcare vision [word doc] laid out in the consultation document for the upcoming Marmot Review, which is looking at the reasons behind health inequalities in the UK , and asking for contributions to a concept for healthcare as it ought to be 2025.

There are many components to the review, sustainability being just one. The full list of consultation documents is available here, along with a timeline and an email address to which it is possible to send responses.

One intriguing paragraph in section 1.5 of the sustainability vision is as follows (my emphasis):

Carbon-efficiency has become the over-riding goal for society, replacing cost-efficiency. This has led doctors to carefully consider whether carbon-intensive treatments are clinically indicated, which has led to some public protest. Incentives in the system are organised so as to reward the prevention of illness (maintenance of health) rather than solely treatment. Financial structures encourage healthcare professionals to look upstream at the determinants of patients’ health, and to prescribe a wide range of preventative interventions, including loft insulation, bicycles, training shoes and healthy eating vouchers. Pharmaceutical companies have switched R&D onto the prevention of conditions, rather than on palliative drug regimes.

However, as far as I can tell from my quick read through, there is no mention at all of toxic substances – the only environmental pollutants referred to are carbon dioxide and, briefly, “high profile pollution accidents” involving nanotechnology [section 1.4]. “Upstream determinants” go way beyond food and exercise to endocrine disruptors, carcinogens and so on.

There is also a nice summary (captured in a table) of the consequences for health equality of climate change, and also mitigation and adaptation strategies, which you can download here [word doc].

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