Sunday, September 11, 2016
The Marmot thinks more money would fix Aboriginal health
Is that you, Sir Michael?
The Marmot has been peddling nonsense for a long time. He has the typical Leftist's lack of imagination: Government spending fixes everything. That more money given to blacks would mostly lead them to piss it up against a wall, he does not confront.
We see here that he knows that low IQs are strongly associated with poorer health -- but no mention of that below, of course.
He says that treating black children better would fix their problems. So how are you going to do that? How are you to get them to attend school? Send the police after them every day? But wouldn't that be too "authoritarian"? Perhaps take them away from their families and give them to whites to bring up? Hasn't he heard of the "stolen generation"? The Marmot is just a blow-in Pommy Leftist who hasn't got a blind clue about Aborigines. No wonder the ABC has treated him as an honoured guest
If Australia wants to close the gap between the health of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, the traditional approach of treating disease will not do it, epidemiologist Sir Michael Marmot says.
Indigenous life expectancy is 10 years lower than that of the general population. Rates of diabetes are more than three times higher.
An Aboriginal Australian is 19 times more likely to die of acute rheumatic fever or chronic rheumatic heart disease.
The rate of suicide for Indigenous boys aged 15 to 19 is four times higher than for their non-Indigenous counterparts; among girls, the rate is six times higher.
In 2016, the prime minister's Closing the Gap update found that while there had been improvement in some areas, other targets are unlikely to be met.
"In my view, the reason why Aboriginal Australians have worse health than the non-Indigenous population is because of inequality," Sir Michael, president of the World Medical Association and director of the Institute of Health Equity, says in his second ABC Boyer Lecture.
He argues the best way to deal with that inequality is investment in early childhood development.
"What happens to children in the early years has a profound effect on their life chances and hence their health as adults," he said.
"A poor start in life, of course, affects everything that happens subsequently, the kind of job you do, the amount of money you earn and these, in their turn will affect health.
"More adverse conditions in early childhood, fewer educational opportunities, fewer opportunities for good and meaningful work, low income, worse environments, and high rates of smoking, poor diet, alcohol and drugs.
"People are not responsible for the social forces on their life. Get the social conditions right, ensure optimal early child development, and then, of course, people can be expected to take responsibility for their own health."
Sir Michael's research in the UK suggests that good child development is less common among the socio-economically disadvantaged.
However, he points to Hackney in East London as an example of how it need not be so.
There, investment in teachers and pre-school services closed the performance gap between children who were eligible for school lunches — a marker of disadvantage — and those who were not.
On a larger scale, Sir Michael pointed to the correlation between taxation and social welfare policies and child poverty in the United States and Australia.
Before taxes and transfers, 25 per cent of US children are classed as being in poverty — defined as having a family income that is less than 50 per cent of the median — while in Australia the figure is 28 per cent of children.
But after tax and transfer payments, poverty drops to 11 per cent in Australia. In the US it remains as high as 25 per cent.
This has led Sir Michael to an inescapably political conclusion: if Australia is serious about the health and wellbeing of its citizens, it must get serious about inequality.
"Social injustice is killing on a grand scale," he said.
"The social injustice of condemning some children to a poor start in life should not be tolerated."