The growing movement to increase health equity

1 May 2013

It’s a story that wouldn’t normally make the headlines. A middle-aged man in a central Queensland town found himself stacking on a lot of weight unusually quickly. His blood pressure was on the rise, and he struggled to get a good night’s sleep. His diagnosis, diabetes, is far from rare, and the common explanation, “unhealthy lifestyle choices,” threw the responsibility back on the sufferer.

But this is not how Dr Ewen McPhee sees it. His patient’s plight is symptomatic, he believes, of wider social, environmental and economic forces affecting the health of members of his community in Emerald, an agricultural and coal-mining centre on the Nogoa River. McPhee traces his patient’s deteriorating health back to when he moved from an active job at a local mine into a supervisory position involving long, stressful hours…

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