A special issue of the Medical Journal of Australia includes a focus on the social determinants of the health of Indigenous Australians. This issue features an editorial by Michael Marmot, the former Chair of the World Health Organization (WHO) Commission on the Social Determinants of Health, as well as a number of research articles exploring related social, policy and biomedical issues.
In his editorial, Marmot argues that the 17-year gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians is reflective of social inequity, and that the six recommendations made by the Marmot Review of health disparities in the UK are applicable.
The six recommended action areas are:
- Early childhood development
- Education and skills development
- Employment and working conditions
- Minimum income for healthy living
- Sustainable communities, and
- A social determinants approach to prevention
For more information, see the “Closing the Gap” section of the Medical Journal of Australia, 194 (10), May 2011, available at www.mja.com.au.