About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Study Reveals Harmful Impact of Austerity on Health

by Bidita Debnath on April 22, 2013 at 11:46 PM
Font : A-A+

 Study Reveals Harmful Impact of Austerity on Health

A team of Greek and U.S. researchers have vividly chronicled the harmful public health impacts of the economic austerity measures imposed on Greece's population in the wake of the global economic crisis.

Writing in today's [Thursday, April 18] American Journal of Public Health, the researchers cite data showing the economic recession and subsequent austerity policies in Greece have led to a sharp deterioration of health services and health outcomes.

Advertisement

Researchers at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and the University of New Mexico in the United States studied current data on economic and social conditions, utilization of health services, and health outcomes.

They found that key public health indicators declined in tandem with the recession and austerity policies that reduced public services.

For example, between 2007 and 2009, suicide and homicide mortality rates among men increased by 22.7 percent and 27.6 percent, respectively. Mental disorders, substance abuse, and infectious diseases showed worsening trends.
Advertisement

Despite deteriorating health conditions, cutbacks occurred in government financing of public services, as the Ministry of Health's total expenditures fell by 23.7 percent between 2009 and 2011.

Meanwhile, due to unemployment and loss of personal income, patients decreased their use of private medical facilities, and utilization of already-stressed public inpatient and primary care services rose by 6.2 percent and 21.9 percent, respectively, over a two-year period.

Dr. Elias Kondilis, lead author of the study and a researcher at Aristotle University, commented from London, "We were expecting that these austerity policies would negatively affect health services and health outcomes, but the results were much worse than we imagined."

Based on their findings, the authors criticize austerity policies that are likely to cause deteriorating health conditions in other European countries and in the United States.

The U.S.-based researcher on the team, Dr. Howard Waitzkin, distinguished professor emeritus of sociology and medicine at the University of New Mexico, said: "The policies of cutbacks currently proposed in the United States for Medicare and Social Security will lead to similar devastating effects on health services and outcomes. Instead of austerity policies, we need increased public sector spending to stimulate our failing economy and to protect the health of our people."

In contrast to the Greek experience, the authors point to several Latin American countries that have resisted demands to reduce public investments in health services. Such policies, they argue, have led to improved economic and health indicators.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Fermented Skin Care
Television Binge-Watching May Boost the Risk of Deadly Blood Clots
Western Diet may Augment the Risk of Autoimmune Diseases
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.


Recommended Reading
Austerity Measures Putting Children at Risk
Austerity measures are hitting children hard, warns UN....
The Most Searched for Term in 2010- 'Austerity'
'Austerity' is now a famous word as it was the most-searched for term in 2010, and has won the ......
Economic Chill Prompts Greeks to Axe Trees for Warmth
Soaring oil prices and freezing economic times are propelling growing numbers of Greeks to chop ......
Suicides and Murders on a Rise in Greece
Suicides and murders rates soar in Greece, where the economy took a plunge, and the impact on the .....

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
open close
CONSULT A DOCTOR
I have read and I do accept terms of use - Telemedicine

Advantage Medindia: FREE subscription for 'Personalised Health & Wellness website with consultation' (Value Rs.300/-)