Australian Society for Medical Research - Medal Presentation

6 June 2017

The Australian Society for Medical Research has awarded Professor Richard Wilkinson its 2017 medal and on his whistle stop tour around the country it was Minister for Health and Sport Greg Hunt who did the official presenting.

 It was a quick visit by the minister who obviously was on a tight schedule but for the amiable professor with magnificent eyebrows,  the assembled happily settled in to be swept up in the stats of the ’social determinants of health’, his area of expertise. As the Emeritus Professor of Public Health at the University of Nottingham his book The Spirit Level, written with Kate Picket is an award winning one that demonstrates that equal societies do better and “economic inequality is the key driver for numerous health (and social) problems in developed countries”.

It was the kind of thing we all need to hear. As the USA demonstrates disdain for its poor in their healthcare debate and the income gap between rich and poor becomes a chasm, we too have our problems. Complacency is not an option. Hopefully the minister got a copy of the speech on his fleeting visit.