A joint study conducted by Oxford University's David Stuckler and Stanford University's Sanjay Basu reveals that the austerity drive followed by European and North American governments is driving up suicides, depression and infectious disease rates in the countries.
The researchers said that the budget cuts made by governments following the 'Great Recession' has been accompanied by more than 10,000 suicides and over a million new cases of depression across the two continents. With the Greece government opting to cut HIV prevention budgets, new cases of HIV infections have risen by over 200 percent since 2011 in the country.
Budget cuts to mosquito-spraying programs by the Greek government also led to first cases of malaria in decades. Things are not better in the US with more than five million Americans losing access to healthcare while over 10,000 families in Britain are homeless.
"Our politicians need to take into account the serious - and in some cases profound - health consequences of economic choices. 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. Austerity is having a devastating effect", Stuckler said.