Hanover - The 116th German Medical Association has spoken out in favor of strengthening the health promotion of socially disadvantaged people. "As the medical profession, we see our responsibility primarily in reducing class-specific differences in access options, in the use and availability of health services," says major proposal from the German Medical Association. The expected effects of preventive and therapeutic efforts are the greater, the earlier they start in the biographical development.
Are particularly often affected by relative poverty Single parents, large families, people with migration background, poorly educated people and the long-term unemployed. Women and younger people are affected slightly more often than men and the elderly. Olaf von dem Knesebeck from the Institute for Medical Social Medicine and Health Economics at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf referred to this. In his guest lecture, he emphasized that health inequalities - to varying degrees - can be demonstrated in almost all countries. In addition, they can also be observed in all phases of life, from beginning to old age.
Poverty and its health effects
The differences in life expectancy span the entire income spectrum. The lower the income, the lower the life expectancy. The risk of diseases such as heart attacks and strokes, as well as childhood obesity and mental health problems, also increases significantly in poorer population groups. The reasons for this are mainly to be seen in the material living conditions, in psychosocial stress factors and in different health behaviors. The social scientist emphasized that the practical consequences would lie primarily in the area of prevention and health promotion.
The Doctors' Day therefore calls for the information on the perception of the prenatal check-up to be improved and for more detailed information on the dangers of consuming alcohol, tobacco and other substances during pregnancy. Prevention is also to be promoted at day-care centers and schools by expanding school examinations and health promotion offers.
Long-term unemployed people are to be provided with more programs to prevent illnesses. In addition, the Doctors' Day advocates the development of comprehensive network of medical help for the homeless and for people without secure residence status, as well as strengthening preventive offers for the elderly.
The delegates also expressly welcomed the measures to strengthen workplace health promotion provided for in the government coalition's draft for prevention law. It also makes sense that the health examinations should be expanded to include the recording and evaluation of health risks and stresses. "Through these measures, particularly stressed and non-prevention-oriented population groups can be better identified and advised accordingly," says the resolution.
Anchoring the topic in medical training The delegates voted in further resolution proposal in favor of integrating the connections between illness and poverty and between illness and social inequality in structured manner in medical training and further education.