From February 2017, information about the work of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow is available and updated on the University of Glasgow website.

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Population health professionals, researchers and other stakeholders from all over Europe come together in Glasgow to discuss how health inequalities in Europe effectively can be reduced.

Mind the Gap: Reducing Inequalities in Health and Health Care

posted on: Oct 9, 2014

Population health professionals, researchers and other stakeholders from all over Europe come together in Glasgow to discuss how health inequalities in Europe effectively can be reduced. The 7th European Public Health (EPH) Conference is held from 19 - 22 November in the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), Glasgow.

The four-day scientific conference will discuss what needs to be done to reduce health inequalities. Under the chair of Professor Alastair Leyland, from the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit at the University of Glasgow, researchers, policymakers and practitioners share knowledge and experiences from across Europe. Margaret McCartney, General Practitioner in Glasgow and author of ‘The Patient Paradox - why sexed up medicine is bad for your health’ will look into the effectiveness of large-scale health promotion interventions in Scotland. Prof Johan Mackenbach (University of Rotterdam, The Netherlands) will show that national programmes to tackle health inequalities have so far been only partly successful. He will argue that much more need to be done to overcome this major health issue.

Health inequalities are a persistent problem in European countries. Although health in Europe has improved in recent decades, inequalities in health have widened as well. ‘Health inequalities’ refer to differences in life expectancy and how healthy that life is. Health inequalities are strongly related to conditions of people’s lives, such as income or the area they live in. In the UK for example, those living in the richer areas will live, on average, 7 years longer than those who live in poor and deprived areas.

Other related conference themes include:
- austerity measures increase health inequalities;
- healthy foods are still more expensive and thereby less available to lower income groups;
- new technologies may even increase health inequalities;
- public health interventions and clinical services for migrant and ethnic minority populations.