Health Inequalities

Health Inequalities

In this assignment I will be analysing social science concepts and policy issues surrounding health inequalities. This will look at how health illnesses are established and the way the illnesses are treated. I will also be evaluating statistical evidence for health inequalities and analysing the explanations.

Reviewing health started 400 years ago when Pasteur developed a theory that suggested illness was due to an invasion of pathogens. This became our Medical Model of Health.

Over the years the patterns of health changed and by the 1950’s people were dying from chronic diseases, so the definition of health had to change to “incorporate social and environmental factors” (Kidson, C, 2007). The two definitions are as follows:

Medical Model of health defines health as the absence of disease or illness.

Bio-Psychosocial and the socio-economic model of health, define health as a complete state if physical and mental well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

There are different models of health used including Pluralistic and Complimentary Models. Pluralistic model looks at spiritual healing and the complimentary model looks at alternative methods of making the person healthy and also looks at the health of the person on a whole.

Ivan Illich was one philosopher who was against modern medicine believing that it actually created illness and that treatment caused diseases and eventually brought about more suffering. He also believed that our pain was a personal challenge to overcome and that the people were now being treated as if they have technical problems. This was known as the Iatrogenesis method and was he believed that moving away from medicine was now the best way forward as it created a dependency on Orthodox medicine (Health Inequalities, Kidson, C, 2007).

Edwin Chadwick first highlighted health Inequalities in 1842; he was the first to associate poor living conditions with poor living conditions....