14 Jul 2011

'More efforts needed' to lessen health inequity

9:12 am on 14 July 2011

A British medical researcher says much more must be done to lessen health inequities in New Zealand.

A symposium organised by the Medical Association and Otago University in Wellington heard on Wednesday that action is needed across the whole of government and cannot wait until the economy improves.

Groups involved in the symposium say much has been done to reduce health inequities, but large ethnic gaps in life expectancy remain in areas including diabetes, infectious disease, rheumatic fever and suicide.

Professor Sir Michael Marmot says it is unfair not to do more, and action must not wait until economies improve.

Health Minister Tony Ryall says everyone shares the same goal, but economic growth is key.