Lin Hatfield Dodds, UnitingCare Australia: The Role of Social Capital in Reducing Health Inequities


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Lin Hatfield Dodds, National Director, UnitingCare Australia delivered this presentation at the 2013 Social Determinants of Health conference. The conference brought together health, social services and public policy organisations to discuss how social determinants affect the health of the nation and to consider how policy decisions can be targeted to reduce health inequities. The agenda facilitated much needed discussion on new approaches to manage social determinants of health and bridge the gap in health between the socially disadvantaged and the broader Australian population. For more information about the event, please visit the conference website:

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Lin Hatfield Dodds, UnitingCare Australia: The Role of Social Capital in Reducing Health Inequities

  1. 1. The Role of Social Capital in Reducing Health Inequities Lin Hatfield Dodds
  2. 2. A Our fair and Vision inclusive Australia where all individuals communities have the resources they need and to reach their A decent life for all full potential participate in Communities and benefit from where everyone belongs and social and economic life can contribute and is valued
  3. 3. It is important to reduce health inequities Productivity Health Wellbeing
  4. 4. Social Cohesion and Capital The smallest unit of humanity is not the individual but the in individual relationship Social networks have value
  5. 5. In societies with greater equality: People There is greater community involvement are more likely trust each other to
  6. 6. Health and well-being A Virtuous Cycle Social Health equity cohesion
  7. 7. Australia’s levels of income inequality are higher than the OECD average, gap between rich and the and poor is continuing to rise - OECD (Dec 2011), Divided we Stand: Why inequality keeps rising, Country Note Australia The Australian Context
  8. 8. Rising Gap Between Rich and Poor Real incomes by gross income deciles, 1988-89 to 2009-10 Gross weekly household income 2011-12 dollars, 1 lowest decile, 10 highest 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 1 2 1988-89 3 1993-94 4 5 1998-99 6 7 2003-04 8 9 10 2009-10 Productivity Commission 2013
  9. 9. In Australia, about five per cent or 640,000 people are experiencing multiple and entrenched disadvantages - 2012 Australian Social Inclusion Board report, Social Inclusion in Australia – How Australia is faring
  10. 10. In 2010, 2,265,000 people or 12.5% Including of all people 575,000 children lived in households below the poverty line - Poverty In Australia, Australian Council of Social Service (2012)
  11. 11. But Poverty is not just about Numbers
  12. 12. Barriers to The Social Gradient Food Stress Early Social Life Determinants Social Exclusion of Health1 Addiction Social Support Work Housing (our addition) 1As Transport outlined by the World Health Organisation Social Determinants of Health: The Solid Facts Second edition, 2003, WHO Unemployment health equity and equality Social Determinants
  13. 13. Steps toward Effective action will arise when government, businesses, A not-for-profits Partnership Approach and the community collaborate in a serious way achieving health equity