Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : “Geography of inequality” must be tackled – Prime Minister Gordon Brown [November 2008]

The press release issued by 10 Downing Street on 6 November 2008.

The Prime Minister has called for renewed effort to tackle the “geography of inequality” characterised by drastically differing health standards and life expectancy between different countries and communities.

Speaking at the Health Inequalities Conference in London today, the Prime Minister said there could “no worse time” to put aside the vital work of dealing with health inequalities and helping the poor. Those arguing that plans should be postponed in light of the global economic downturn were mistaken, he said.

The PM said:

“I believe there could be no worse time than this to turn back.  We will now successfully address all the global problems that we face, whether it is financial problems, climate change, security or inequality, only if we work together for global solutions. And the health inequalities we are talking about are not only unjust, condemning millions of men, women and children to avoidable ill-health, they also limit the development and the prosperity of communities, whole nations and even continents.”

Mr Brown told delegates they were united in their belief that every child, man and woman, no matter what their birth or background, “should have the best chance of a healthy life”.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson, who has organised the summit, told delegates that governments have become accustomed to working together on issues such as climate change and the economy, and that the same energy being appled to dealing with the credit crunch should be applied to addressing health inequalities.