The impact of poverty and inequality in our society is clearly seen in the field of healthcare. There is a significant difference in the life expectancy of the most deprived and least deprived people in our society – over a decade in some areas.
One factor in this is healthcare provision. Services in more deprived areas tend to be less effective in identifying illness and helping people look after their health, than those services in less deprived areas. This is known as the ‘inverse care law’.
The inverse care law is based on work done here in Wales by Dr Julian Tudor-Hart back in the 1960s that looked at inequities in health care. He noted that the most deprived people with the most health needs were the ones who least accessed services from a health point of view.