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Economic Determinants of Health

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However, health is not just about being sick, as most people see it. Generally, health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (World Health Organization 1). As the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion stressed: Health is … a resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities (1). It is the ability to realize hopes, satisfy needs, change or cope with life experiences and participate fully in society (Sheridan 31). With these, health becomes one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition (WHO 1). But reality check would painfully tell us that this is not so, because as the social ladder differentiates the social status of social groupings, so it does to health… the more advantaged our lives are, the longer we live and the healthier we are from birth to old age. People who grow up on the bottom (of the social ladder) die younger and are sicker throughout their lifetimes than those who are born to the rungs above them (The John D. amp. Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Research Network 4).
Generally, people believe health is shaped by man’s genetic heritage (Davis, par.1) or biological makeup, largely missing the greater part of the equation that health is actually influenced by varied important factors such as the physical environment, health practices, and coping skills… healthcare service and the social economic environment (the social conditions, or the social determinants of health) in which people live their daily lives… further discussed… (Sheridan 31).