For any society, the planning and management of its healthcare infrastructure is carried out with the primary objective of enabling its members to achieve and maintain high levels of physical and mental wellbeing.
A good healthcare system is hence deemed necessary to complement a society’s economic and social activities. On the other hand, any inadequacies or disparities arising as a result of poor planning or execution can have a negative bearing on a society’s general health patterns and, in turn, its socioeconomic indicators. However, these disparities and inadequacies are often not a product of poor planning alone. A lot of times, these are a by-product of existing social attitudes and prejudices that a society may harbour towards a class of its members. These biases can be based on differences arising on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, social background, physical disabilities, economic conditions or even age.
Of all the factors that contribute towards creating disparities in a society’s healthcare outlook, the most insidious role is played by prejudices rooted in socioeconomic background. The problem was once referred to as “inverse care law” by Tudor J. Hart, (2005) and afflicts both poor as well as rich nations. In the case ofBritain, the presence of this inverse relationship between the country’s healthcare facilities and its various communities means that those who possess the least of material resources may also be receiving the least allocation of the nation’s healthcare facilities. This in turn establishes – and later consolidates – the seemingly perennial relationship between poverty and poor health.
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