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Arch Hellen Med, 27(5), September-October 2010, 834-840


The financial crisis and its impact on health and medical care

National School of Public Health, Department of Health Economics, Athens, Greece

The recent financial crisis is one of the biggest ever in the global economy and it is hitting the real economy with great force, resulting in economic recession and a decrease in employment in countries around the world. This crisis has a differential effect in developing countries, and among the poorer and more vulnerable population groups. Unemployment and job insecurity have a negative impact on health. Rising unemployment is associated with an increase in mental disorders, addiction problems, suicide and the mortality rate from ischemic heart disease. The poorer segments of the population are more vulnerable to these effects. Economic recession also threatens the financing of health care, the viability of private insurance companies and the responsiveness of public health services, due to increased demand. Under these circumstances it is of considerable importance for health and social policy makers to adopt the perspective of social determinants of health, with the primary aim of decreasing health inequalities.

Key words: Economic recession, Financial crisis, Health, Health care.

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