Annals of the University of Oradea: Economic Science (May 2008)
THE EU’S COSTS OF SOCIOECONOMIC “HEALTH GAPS”
During the past two decades, socioeconomic inequalities in health have increasingly been recognized as an important public health issue throughout Europe. As a result, there has been a considerable research effort which has permitted the emphasis of academic research to gradually shift from description to explanation. And as a consequence of that, entry-points for interventions and policies have been identified, providing the building-blocks with which policy-makers and practitioners have begun to design strategies to reduce socioeconomic inequalities in health. Although relatively little is known yet about the effectiveness of these strategies, it is possible to make some educated guesses about their potential impact on the economic implications of health inequalities in the European Union. And this way, investing in health should not only be seen as a cost to society, but also as a potential driver of economic growth.