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A tale of two countrysides: remote and rural health and medicine. 2022;

Health inequalities in later life

02 March 2023
Volume 28 · Issue 3

Various recent events have heightened awareness of potential discrimination as the cause of unfair and unequal treatment within the UK. These include the Windrush scandal, persistent health inequalities including different COVID-19 mortality rates, and assertions made in the Duke of Sussex’s autobiography. Discrimination (actions which are unequal between different groups), prejudice (attitudes and beliefs subordinating a group), stigma (negative behaviour in a social context) and bias (systemic subordination of a group within society and its associated institutions, including the legal system) describe the manifestation of an unequal relationship between groups of people, where one group is subordinate to a dominant group. There are many typologies often reflecting their different underlying theories, but regardless the concepts, are hugely important because they have the potential to explain the health outcomes of different population groups, which are evident across the NHS and its services.

‘health inequalities arise from experiences of racism and racial discrimination, which impact upon health status by causing physical and mental stress, with an indirect impact on socioeconomic status. ’

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