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BOX L - Who carries the heaviest burden? Print E-mail

Ontario Public Health PractionersIllness, injury and premature death have direct and indirect costs, causing economic and social impacts on individuals and society. For individuals, poor health makes participating in the social, cultural and economic life of their communities an uphill battle. And when ill-health is concentrated in identifiable groups, it may be made worse by stigma, exclusion from society and hopelessness.

The impact of health disparities on society is far-reaching, from alienation of certain groups to lost productivity to higher spending on health care. Some worry that talking about “societal burden” might lead to blaming the victims and further marginalizing low-income people (Moore, Mao, Zhang & Clarke, 1997).

Last Updated on Monday, 01 June 2009 08:15