The cost of inaction on the social determinants of health
The cost of government inaction on the social determinants of health, leading to health inequalities for the most disadvantaged Australians of working age, is substantial.
This was measured in terms not only of the number of people affected but also their overall well-being, their ability to participate in the workforce, their earnings from paid work, their reliance on Government income support and their use of health services.
Substantial differences were found in the proportion of disadvantaged individuals satisfied with their lives, employment status, earnings from salary and wages, Government pensions and allowances, and use of health services between those in poor versus good health and those having versus not having a long-term health condition.
Improving the health profile of Australians of working age in the most socio-economically disadvantaged groups therefore would lead to major social and economic gains with savings to both the Government and to individuals.