There continue to be big differences in health outcomes between groups of people and between countries in Europe. To address these inequalities and to improve health for all, we need to shift Europe’s narrative on fiscal and social policy to one where issues are addressed holistically; where spending in social and health protection and wellbeing is understood as an investment; where the interconnected nature of policy is recognised and valued; and where social sustainability is a foundation stone. It makes economic sense, as already a 50% reduction in gaps in life expectancy would provide monetised benefits to countries ranging from 0.3 – 4.3% of GDP.
Reducing social and health inequalities is possible, represents a good investment, and has strong public support. The EU and its Member States have the tools to act. Improvements are achievable.