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Austerity and the health of a nation

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Austerity and the health of a nation

Postby Talisker » Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:51 pm

A study detailing the deterioration in the health of the Greek population since the imposition of austerity policies, which included massive cutbacks in healthcare services funding, has just been published.

Economic Crisis, Restrictive Policies, and the Population’s Health and Health Care: The Greek Case
The global economic crisis has affected the Greek economy with unprecedented severity, making Greece an important test of the relationship between socioeconomic determinants and a population’s well-being. Suicide and homicide mortality rates among men increased by 22.7% and 27.6%, respectively, between 2007 and 2009, and mental disorders, substance abuse, and infectious disease morbidity showed deteriorating trends during 2010 and 2011. Utilization of public inpatient and primary care services rose by 6.2% and 21.9%, respectively, between 2010 and 2011, while the Ministry of Health’s total expenditures fell by 23.7% between 2009 and 2011. In a time of economic turmoil, rising health care needs and increasing demand for public services collide with austerity and privatization policies, exposing Greece’s population health to further risks.
(AmJ Public Health. Published online ahead of print April 18, 2013: e1–e8. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.301126)
Full paper from: http://www.pnhp.org/sites/default/files ... Greece.pdf

The authors conclude:
Historical evidence suggests that in times of economic downturn, policies of cutbacks and privatization can further jeopardize populations’ health and health services. On the other hand, sustained public spending or creative reorganization and expansion of public sector health services can protect populations’ health status. For instance, in Latin America, countries such as Argentina, Venezuela, Ecuador, Uruguay, and Bolivia have acted to foster their populations’ health by resisting the demands of international financial institutions to reduce public investments in health services. The improvements of economic and health indicators seen in those countries have demonstrated that the policies of austerity are unscientific, dangerous, and resistible. As the populations of Greece and other European countries face unprecedented austerity policies, the dangers to public health likely will deepen, unless popular resistance leads to the defeat of such policies.

The results of the study, although worse than anticipated, are hardly surprising and let's hope Europe's political leaders, including those in Cyprus, take note as further austerity policies are implemented.
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A contrarian view

Postby Tim Drayton » Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:34 pm

I thought that the following fairly lengthy interview with actress Popi Avraam that was screened on CyBC a few evenings ago was quite interesting in that, among other things, she argues that the crisis will have positive effects on Cyprus in that it will bring people back down to earth and help them to refind their true identity.

http://www.cybc-media.com/video/index.p ... 93&sl=cats

It is in Greek with Turkish subtitles.
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Re: A contrarian view

Postby Talisker » Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:14 pm

Tim Drayton wrote:I thought that the following fairly lengthy interview with actress Popi Avraam that was screened on CyBC a few evenings ago was quite interesting in that, among other things, she argues that the crisis will have positive effects on Cyprus in that it will bring people back down to earth and help them to refind their true identity.

http://www.cybc-media.com/video/index.p ... 93&sl=cats

It is in Greek with Turkish subtitles.

Tim, my Greek is not of sufficient standard to follow the opinions of this actress. Yes, it's possible to put a positive spin on the crisis, but let's face it - austerity measures will not affect all people equally, some are or will be much more affected than others (and she is probably seeing the crisis from the position of someone who is going to be relatively unaffected). The government of any civilised nation has an obligation to protect the weakest in society, including those that are ill, and those who become more vulnerable because of the austerity measures that government decides (or is required) to implement. Someone losing their job need not necessarily mean that that individual will 'refind their true identity' - that person may have lost the thing that actually gives them a sense of purpose and status and thereby 'identity' in society, may then become financially destitute, lose their home and have to cope with ensuing family crises, become clinically depressed and then need the support of a health service which, because of austerity cuts (as the study outlines in Greece), is no longer able to provide that help. Multiply this manyfold and you see the types of trends outlined in the Greek study. And if austerity means the brightest and most able young educated people in a society leave because the opportunities are better elsewhere then the 'identity' of a nation is changed, but not necessarily for the better.
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Re: A contrarian view

Postby cyprusgrump » Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:03 pm

Talisker wrote:Tim, my Greek is not of sufficient standard to follow the opinions of this actress. Yes, it's possible to put a positive spin on the crisis, but let's face it - austerity measures will not affect all people equally, some are or will be much more affected than others (and she is probably seeing the crisis from the position of someone who is going to be relatively unaffected). The government of any civilised nation has an obligation to protect the weakest in society, including those that are ill, and those who become more vulnerable because of the austerity measures that government decides (or is required) to implement. Someone losing their job need not necessarily mean that that individual will 'refind their true identity' - that person may have lost the thing that actually gives them a sense of purpose and status and thereby 'identity' in society, may then become financially destitute, lose their home and have to cope with ensuing family crises, become clinically depressed and then need the support of a health service which, because of austerity cuts (as the study outlines in Greece), is no longer able to provide that help. Multiply this manyfold and you see the types of trends outlined in the Greek study. And if austerity means the brightest and most able young educated people in a society leave because the opportunities are better elsewhere then the 'identity' of a nation is changed, but not necessarily for the better.


Good post Talisker! :D
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Re: Austerity and the health of a nation

Postby GreekIslandGirl » Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:53 pm

Talisker wrote: Suicide and homicide mortality rates among men increased by 22.7% and 27.6%, respectively, between 2007 and 2009, and mental disorders, substance abuse, and infectious disease morbidity showed deteriorating trends during 2010 and 2011. Utilization of public inpatient and primary care services rose by 6.2% and 21.9%, respectively, between 2010 and 2011, while the Ministry of Health’s total expenditures fell by 23.7% between 2009 and 2011.


Better to provide actual figures.

In 2009 Greece had one of the lowest suicide rates in Europe, average 3.5 per 100K (if that figure were to go up 22% that would be 4.5 ?) (UK was 11.8 in 2011, don't know what it has gone up to now). Austerity measures didn't really start till 2010. Do you have figures for the rates since then? It's probably since then that suicide rates have increased.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... icide_rate

As for homicide, again it was one of the lowest and if there's been an increase, it probably correlates with the increase in immigrants (legal and illegal).
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Re: Austerity and the health of a nation

Postby cyprusgrump » Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:37 am

GreekIslandGirl wrote:
Talisker wrote: Suicide and homicide mortality rates among men increased by 22.7% and 27.6%, respectively, between 2007 and 2009, and mental disorders, substance abuse, and infectious disease morbidity showed deteriorating trends during 2010 and 2011. Utilization of public inpatient and primary care services rose by 6.2% and 21.9%, respectively, between 2010 and 2011, while the Ministry of Health’s total expenditures fell by 23.7% between 2009 and 2011.


Better to provide actual figures.

In 2009 Greece had one of the lowest suicide rates in Europe, average 3.5 per 100K (if that figure were to go up 22% that would be 4.5 ?) (UK was 11.8 in 2011, don't know what it has gone up to now). Austerity measures didn't really start till 2010. Do you have figures for the rates since then? It's probably since then that suicide rates have increased.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... icide_rate

As for homicide, again it was one of the lowest and if there's been an increase, it probably correlates with the increase in immigrants (legal and illegal).


Better to provide actual figures.

Greece = 1.5 per 100K
UK = 1.2 per 100K

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... icide_rate

:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Austerity and the health of a nation

Postby GreekIslandGirl » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:43 am

cyprusgrump wrote:
GreekIslandGirl wrote:
Talisker wrote: Suicide and homicide mortality rates among men increased by 22.7% and 27.6%, respectively, between 2007 and 2009, and mental disorders, substance abuse, and infectious disease morbidity showed deteriorating trends during 2010 and 2011. Utilization of public inpatient and primary care services rose by 6.2% and 21.9%, respectively, between 2010 and 2011, while the Ministry of Health’s total expenditures fell by 23.7% between 2009 and 2011.


Better to provide actual figures.

In 2009 Greece had one of the lowest suicide rates in Europe, average 3.5 per 100K (if that figure were to go up 22% that would be 4.5 ?) (UK was 11.8 in 2011, don't know what it has gone up to now). Austerity measures didn't really start till 2010. Do you have figures for the rates since then? It's probably since then that suicide rates have increased.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... icide_rate

As for homicide, again it was one of the lowest and if there's been an increase, it probably correlates with the increase in immigrants (legal and illegal).


Better to provide actual figures.

Greece = 1.5 per 100K
UK = 1.2 per 100K

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... icide_rate

:lol: :lol: :lol:


Oh, you do amuse yourself something silly. :roll:

The reason I didn't supply one is because, even as your own link says:

"The reliability of underlying national murder rate data may vary.[1] The legal definition of "intentional homicide" differs among countries."
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Re: Austerity and the health of a nation

Postby cyprusgrump » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:11 pm

GreekIslandGirl wrote:
cyprusgrump wrote:
GreekIslandGirl wrote:
Talisker wrote: Suicide and homicide mortality rates among men increased by 22.7% and 27.6%, respectively, between 2007 and 2009, and mental disorders, substance abuse, and infectious disease morbidity showed deteriorating trends during 2010 and 2011. Utilization of public inpatient and primary care services rose by 6.2% and 21.9%, respectively, between 2010 and 2011, while the Ministry of Health’s total expenditures fell by 23.7% between 2009 and 2011.


Better to provide actual figures.

In 2009 Greece had one of the lowest suicide rates in Europe, average 3.5 per 100K (if that figure were to go up 22% that would be 4.5 ?) (UK was 11.8 in 2011, don't know what it has gone up to now). Austerity measures didn't really start till 2010. Do you have figures for the rates since then? It's probably since then that suicide rates have increased.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... icide_rate

As for homicide, again it was one of the lowest and if there's been an increase, it probably correlates with the increase in immigrants (legal and illegal).


Better to provide actual figures.

Greece = 1.5 per 100K
UK = 1.2 per 100K

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... icide_rate

:lol: :lol: :lol:


Oh, you do amuse yourself something silly. :roll:

The reason I didn't supply one is because, even as your own link says:

"The reliability of underlying national murder rate data may vary.[1] The legal definition of "intentional homicide" differs among countries."


And in the link you provided it states: -

The WHO statistics are based on the official reports from each respective country, and therefore, no more accurate than the record-keeping in the specific country.

But I suppose that must be taken as factually correct as it shows Greece to be better than the UK...? :roll:
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Re: Austerity and the health of a nation

Postby GreekIslandGirl » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:18 pm

cyprusgrump wrote:
GreekIslandGirl wrote:
cyprusgrump wrote:
GreekIslandGirl wrote:
Talisker wrote: Suicide and homicide mortality rates among men increased by 22.7% and 27.6%, respectively, between 2007 and 2009, and mental disorders, substance abuse, and infectious disease morbidity showed deteriorating trends during 2010 and 2011. Utilization of public inpatient and primary care services rose by 6.2% and 21.9%, respectively, between 2010 and 2011, while the Ministry of Health’s total expenditures fell by 23.7% between 2009 and 2011.


Better to provide actual figures.

In 2009 Greece had one of the lowest suicide rates in Europe, average 3.5 per 100K (if that figure were to go up 22% that would be 4.5 ?) (UK was 11.8 in 2011, don't know what it has gone up to now). Austerity measures didn't really start till 2010. Do you have figures for the rates since then? It's probably since then that suicide rates have increased.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... icide_rate

As for homicide, again it was one of the lowest and if there's been an increase, it probably correlates with the increase in immigrants (legal and illegal).


Better to provide actual figures.

Greece = 1.5 per 100K
UK = 1.2 per 100K

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... icide_rate

:lol: :lol: :lol:


Oh, you do amuse yourself something silly. :roll:

The reason I didn't supply one is because, even as your own link says:

"The reliability of underlying national murder rate data may vary.[1] The legal definition of "intentional homicide" differs among countries."


And in the link you provided it states: -

The WHO statistics are based on the official reports from each respective country, and therefore, no more accurate than the record-keeping in the specific country.

But I suppose that must be taken as factually correct as it shows Greece to be better than the UK...? :roll:


What childish nonsense you do spout.
That would be the case with the link you provided also, ontop of the fact that homicide, by its far more varied nature is defined with a huge deal of difference, depending on the specific laws of the land.
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Re: Austerity and the health of a nation

Postby cyprusgrump » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:26 pm

GreekIslandGirl wrote:What childish nonsense you do spout.
That would be the case with the link you provided also, ontop of the fact that homicide, by its far more varied nature is defined with a huge deal of difference, depending on the specific laws of the land.



Hahahahahaha! You do make me laugh! Image

They are both Wiki links...

It is hilarious that you managed to find the figures for Suicide on Wiki - which are to be taken as fact - that show the UK is worse than Greece...

...but you couldn't find the Homicide rates on Wiki... surprisingly because it shows Greece to be worse than the UK...

And when I produce the figures from Wiki they are not to be trusted at all - oh no, only the Wiki figures you produce that show Greece in a good light are to be trusted! :lol: :lol:
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