Doc Talk #19 – Social Determinants of Health



Most of what determines whether people are healthy or not has very little to do with doctors. The social determinants of health are much important: do you have enough money, do you have somewhere safe to live,  do you have a secure job, do you and your children have access to education, is it easy to access childcare?

Doctors (and patients) love to imagine that we have much more control over whether people are health or not than we do. Most of the time medicine is just a band aid for health problems that originate as a consequence of the social and economic circumstances people find themselves in.

Here is an interesting (if slightly dated) report on social determinants of health. It may be a little old, but unfortunately it remains as relevant as ever. If we really want to tackle rising healthcare costs, we need to start looking outside of healthcare for the solutions.