Let’s take a moment to reflect. How are you treated? Not by your family or your classmates, or your friends, but how are you treated by your government? Do they keep your best interest in mind? That’s what they are supposed to be doing right? Aren’t they supposed to be protecting you, our countries, and me? Now, take a moment to reflect on the inequalities you face in your country. Maybe you face gender inequality or social inequality. Is your government protecting from those things?
There have been studies that show that links between socio-economic disadvantage and poor health are well established. Factors such as education, employment and housing are very complex but they greatly influence health. For example, lower income people are more likely to have unhealthy behaviors. These behaviors included things such as tobacco use, physical inactivity and poor nutrition, and all of these lead to higher rates of non-communicable diseases and earlier deaths, all of which are preventable causes. These become a stress and burden to the community, making it an unhealthy environment to live in.
Radical government cuts to things such as health care and other social welfare spending in OECD (Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development) countries has cause economic pain and has cost lives. Declining levels of social spending are associated with risks of death, mostly from diseases due to the heart. There have been cuts all throughout governments. The US has had government cuts along with Europe, Austria and many others. As the government cuts more and more, we see a rise in suicide rates, more and more breast cancer surgeries being delayed and cancelled and the rate of new HIV infections is rising, along with the cost of drugs.
Now, take a moment and reflect on all the information I just gave you. Think about all the job loses around the world and the growing gap between the rich and the poor. Think about all the inequalities, from gender, to sex, to political, to economic inequalities. If the governments keep cutting supplies and means of work, how can people survive to live? Not knowing how they are going to put food on the table and provide for their family put huge amounts of stress on people, causing a lot of health issues. Some can only take so much out of their control before they do something they can control such as suicide. Is this fair? Are our governments protecting us?
Hannah Bay Snider