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NSW Public Health Bulletin archive

Guest editorial-Health inequalities: something old, something new Volume 12 Issue 5

Peter Sainsbury, Elizabeth Harris

New South Wales Public Health Bulletin 12(5) 117 - 119 Published: 2001

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Peter Sainsbury

Elizabeth Harris


There are substantial inequalities in health in NSW and Australia generally. These inequalities translate into large differences in levels of mortality and morbidity for individuals and communities. For instance, the most disadvantaged quintile of the Australian population aged less than 65 suffers 60 per cent more years of life lost due to premature death than the most advantaged quintile of the population. Such inequalities are important whether your perspective is social justice (that is, they are unfair and preventable) or economic (that is, they have high direct and indirect costs on the health system and the wider community).