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This review was commissioned by the European Commission (EC), with the aim of producing a report on current health inequalities within and between countries in the EU and the actions being taken to combat them by the EC and its member states.
i. documents and reviews the health inequalities situation in the EU including recent trends.
ii. documents and reviews the policy response to health inequalities at EU, national and, where relevant, sub-national levels.
iii. provides an analysis and commentary including implications and suggestions for possible future actions.
The background to this review is the communication from the European Commission “Solidarity in health: reducing health inequalities in the EU”. This recognised that while EU citizens live, on average, longer and healthier lives than previous generations, the EU is faced with an important challenge: the large gaps in health which exist between and within EU Member States. It points out there are indications that such gaps may be growing and that increased unemployment and uncertainty arising from the current economic crisis is further aggravating this situation. The communication launched the debate needed to define potential EU-level measures to support actions by Member States and other actors to address this issue.
The review was undertaken by a consortium comprising UCL, the Health Action Partnership International (HAPI), EuroHealthNet and the Association of Public Health Observatories (North East and London Public Health Observatories). The Consortium was led by Professor Sir Michael Marmot. The final report is due to be published in 2013.
By Institute of Health Equity, HAPI, Eurohealthnet and APHO Nov 2013