Evidence available linking the socioeconomic determinants of health to child health indices consistently shows that the larger a society’s income inequity the worse the outcomes for the health and welfare of its children. In the UK the gap between rich and poor is large and the impact on child health considerable. Reducing health inequities in childhood would have a significant impact not only on children’s health , but on their need for health and social care.
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) recognises that improving health equity in childhood should be a high priority for our government. The main societal determinant of poor health is child poverty; others, such as poor environments, policies which disadvantage children, and discrimination are often linked to poverty.
Much can be done by government, health services, paediatric organizations and individuals to reduce health inequities. Recommendations are offered as a basis for joint working between the RCPCH and other bodies who share our commitment to promoting the wellbeing of children.