Health Systems and Policy Research

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Economic Crises, Inequity and Health Systems: The Importance of Mitigating the Impact on the Population

Díaz CA, Castilla RA, Lebersztein G

In this article the proposition that health systems are an essential tool in order to mitigate the impact which the economic crises have on the population will be analysed and explained. These play a relevant role in the increase of preventable deaths, years of potential life lost, cardiovascular diseases, neoplasias and suicides. In these hard times, the focus should be in the correction of unhealthy lifestyles, such as smoking, alcoholism or lack of physical activity, in the early detection of hypertension and tumours, and the treatment of diseases which were historically mortal, and have reappeared because of the socioeconomic changes. The state should be responsible for planning, regulating and acting needed in order to diminish health inequalities. At present, there are privileges, social and legal pressures, and no policy prioritisation. Therefore, we are not directing our efforts towards those actions which increase health equity.