Azara Blog: Government has allegedly wasted money trying to tackle health inequality

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Date published: 2009/03/15

The BBC says:

Ministers have wasted public money in their attempts to tackle health inequalities, MPs say.

The House of Commons' Health Committee said the government should have been more careful in designing and piloting projects in England.

The MPs highlighted a series of schemes, including Sure Start, which had failed to have much of an impact.

But the government said tough targets had been set and interventions were based on good evidence.

Ministers have pledged to reduce the health inequality gap - measured by infant mortality and life expectancy - by 10% between 1997 and 2010.

But it seems certain they will miss that target as data published last year showed the gap between the richest and poorest has actually widened in the past decade.

On the one hand, even if the so-called health inequality gap is wider, it doesn't necessarily mean that the government schemes have not helped (so, the gap might have ended up being even wider without such intervention). On the other hand, although the government is very good at producing patronising adverts telling the peasants that they should behave themselves (in particular with regard to health), it is not clear the government knows how to spend money wisely or effectively.

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