Wednesday September 3, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
28o C
22o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Austerity is hurting our health, say researchers in new book

By Kate Kelland

Austerity is having a devastating effect on health in Europe and North America, driving suicide, depression and infectious diseases and reducing access to medicines and care, researchers said on Monday.

Detailing a decade of research, Oxford University political economist David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu, an assistant professor of medicine and an epidemiologist at Stanford University, said their findings show austerity is seriously bad for health.

In a book to be published this week, the researchers say more than 10,000 suicides and up to a million cases of depression have been diagnosed during what they call the «Great Recession» and its accompanying austerity across Europe and North America.

In Greece, moves like cutting HIV prevention budgets have coincided with rates of the AIDS-causing virus rising by more than 200 percent since 2011 - driven in part by increasing drug abuse in the context of a 50 percent youth unemployment rate.

Greece also experienced its first malaria outbreak in decades following budget cuts to mosquito-spraying programs.

And more than five million Americans have lost access to healthcare during the latest recession, they argue, while in Britain, some 10,000 families have been pushed into homelessness by the government's austerity budget.

"Our politicians need to take into account the serious - and in some cases profound - health consequences of economic choices,» said David Stuckler, a senior researcher at Oxford University and co-author The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills

"The harms we have found include HIV and malaria outbreaks, shortages of essential medicines, lost healthcare access, and an avoidable epidemic of alcohol abuse, depression and suicide,» he said in a statement. «Austerity is having a devastating effect."

Previous studies by Stuckler published in journals such as The Lancet and the British Medical Journal have linked rising suicide rates in some parts of Europe to biting austerity measures, and found HIV epidemics to be spreading amid cutbacks in services to vulnerable people.

But Stuckler and Basu said negative public health effects are not inevitable, even during the worst economic disasters.

Using data from the Great Depression of the 1930s, to post-communist Russia and from some examples of the current economic downturn, they say financial crises can be prevented from becoming epidemics - if governments respond effectively.

As an example, they say, Sweden's active labor market programs helped the numbers of suicides to fall there during its recession, a big rise in unemployment. Neighboring countries with no such programs saw large increases in suicides.

And during the 1930s depression in the United States, each extra $100 of relief spending from the American New Deal led to about 20 fewer deaths per 1,000 births, four fewer suicides per 100,000 people and 18 fewer pneumonia deaths per 100,000 people.

"Ultimately what we show is that worsening health is not an inevitable consequence of economic recessions. It's a political choice,» Basu said in the statement.

[Reuters]

ekathimerini.com , Monday April 29, 2013 (09:48)  
Greek academics say anti-racism bill risks interference with freedom of expression
Report points to suspicious clinic charges to EOPYY
New rector seeks to introduce ID checks at University of Athens
Gov’t upbeat in troika talks, says budget ´on target´
Helexpo sell-off plan to be ready by mid-October
Helexpo, the state company that organizes major exhibitions such as the Thessaloniki International Fair, is in the last stages of drawing up its privatization plan. Sources say that the prop...
Maniatis talks energy with Washington’s man in Athens
Energy Minister Yiannis Maniatis held a meeting yesterday with US Ambassador in Athens David D. Pearce to discuss possible natural gas supply problems that Europe may face this winter due to...
Inside Business
Grateful Saviola thanks Olympiakos, joins Verona
Former Argentina international Javier Saviola has thanked Greek champions Olympiakos for the "beautiful moments" during his season-long stint in Greece as he left the club to join Serie A ou...
SOCCER
Greece defender Papadopoulos fires parting shot at Michel
International defender Avraam Papadopoulos suddenly quit Olympiakos on Monday to join Turkish club Trabzonspor, and fired a parting shot at Olympiakos manager Michel putting the blame on the...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Poise matters
A politician who wishes to demonstrate that he is a leader needs two fundamental characteristics: poise and the ability to rely on his instinct. Poise has been a prerequisite since long befo...
EDITORIAL
The right decision
A year ago, when former Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis announced that auditing companies were set to begin investigating expenses submitted by certain private health clinics to social sec...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Greek academics say anti-racism bill risks interference with freedom of expression
2. Helexpo sell-off plan to be ready by mid-October
3. Maniatis talks energy with Washington’s man in Athens
4. Task force to examine cases of extreme taxation, customs issues
5. Hotels hike prices by 10 pct in H1 of 2014
6. Pension system nears breaking point
more news
Today
This Week
1. Poise matters
2. The right decision
3. Greek academics say anti-racism bill risks interference with freedom of expression
4. Politicized archaeology
5. Rain and storms with hail expected in many parts of Greece
6. Reforms to dominate Greek talks in Paris, debt relief talks later, says source
Today
This Week
1. Thessaloniki mayor Boutaris sworn in wearing yellow star amid Golden Dawn protests
2. The battle against progress
3. Strong undersea quake occurs off island of Milos, felt in Athens
4. Hardouvelis, ECB executive discuss bank program, stress tests
5. Greek quest for debt relief faces hurdles in Paris
6. Prospect of Greek grand prix back on the agenda; huge investment needed
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.