Kapilashrami A, Marsden S & Robertson T (2016) A right to health for the people of Scotland. In: Barrow S & Small M (eds.) Scotland 2021. Edinburgh: Bella Caledonia/Ekklesia, pp. 81-86. http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2016/12/21/scotland-2021-3/
It is fundamentally unjust that systematic inequalities in Scotland today mean that some people live healthier, longer lives than many others. This is not just a concern for those most unfairly impacted: while declining deaths from alcohol, heart disease, most cancers and respiratory disease are encouraging, Scotland’s population as a whole remains, in European terms, comparatively sick. This can only change if there is a fundamental transformation in how we view health and how we understand its underlying causes. It is not about individual lifestyle choices; it is about structural change. We need our government in Scotland to commit to establishing a right to health for all. As a first step we need to foster a debate about exactly what a ‘right to health’ entails and then work together to address underlying social, economic, political and commercial determinants of health to address real change in the nation’s health. A peoples’ movement with a committed government can do just that. And it can make Scotland healthier.
health; public health; policy; social movement