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HLTC43 Lecture 1.pdf

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Health Studies
Scott Sams

HLTC43 Lecture 1 Wednesday, May 8, 2013 10:00 AM Cue Column: Note-Taking Area: *suggestion - read a week Political Determinants of Health behind • Purpose: To introduce the political dimensions of health. • Lessons from today’s class: a. Health is highly political. b. The politics of health is underdeveloped. c. Ideology and values shape how we conceive of health. • How is health political? ○ Allocation of resources  Some groupsget more resources than others ○ Shaped by action or inaction  Social determinants of health: broadfeatures determining health  Who benefits from these investments?  More money, more resources --> better health  Gov'ts can do something to improve health ○ Right to health?  Who gets the right? □ Doesn't matter, it becomes political  Citizenship? ○ Embedded in wider economic, social & political system □ Power over health, power existing over larger system □ Political struggles etc.; causes change ○ Evidence of political influenceon health outcomes  Poli variables have effect on health  Europe - take $ from rich and give to poorthrough social programs □ Better at improving health in those populations □ This acts on social determinants of health (?) ○ Everything rooted in poli decisions  Values, etc flow intopolicies  These determine health outcomes ○ Diff approaches from diff values --> diff outcomes • Why is there a paucity of literature on health politics? “Medicine is a social science and politics nothingbut medicine on a grand scale” – RudolfVirchow ○ Politics of health underdeveloped & marginalized  Why might this be? ○ Result of:  Reductionof health to health care □ First big distinction****** □ When we say health, thinkingaboutHC □ Privatization vs. state funding □ Health is absence of disease (biomed) □ Health is commodity(econ)  Health care is a service □ Health in biomed and econ view  Inequalities result of personal failings  Narrow populardefinition of politics □ As gov't  Activities of gov't & state □ As publiclife □ Conflict resolution  Negotiation,conciliation □ Politics as power (broadidea) □ Restrictive boundaryaround politics □ Conflict resolution  Negotiation,conciliation □ Politics as power (broadidea) □ Restrictive boundaryaround politics □ HC where state role is sig.  Political science approaches □ Poli scientists have notstudied health □ Concerned with process, institutionsof gov't
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