Sample Essay

While life expectancy and infant mortality are one of the most often used indicators to assess the efficacy of a healthcare system in any given society, as argued by Wilkinson, (1996) income distribution – or more appropriately, income disparities – within a particular society can be juxtaposed against the above-noted indicators to determine the extent and the quality of healthcare available to its various segments, and to establish a relationship thereof.Elaborating upon it further, interestingly in the context of one of the most industrialized nation in the world – United States of America – Kennedy, Kawachi and Prothrow-Stith, (1996) used the famous ‘Robin Hood Index’ to argue their point for income redistribution from the rich to the poor in order to achieve a modicum of economic equality, and hence better healthcare coverage for the poorer segments of society.

However, while income is the most-widely used indicator to determine the relative poverty or prosperity of a section of society, it alone cannot be used to explain the corresponding level of healthcare access available to a certain group of people.  Over the years, successive British governments have increasingly voiced their understanding of the fact that the relationship between poverty and poor healthcare is a complex one, often being the result of interplay between a host of actors and forces, and hence requires a more holistic policy approach.

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