Tackling inequalities in health: A global challenge for social work

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27 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents arguments for recognizing and tackling health inequalities as a major new challenge for social work. Four underpinning points provide the building blocks for this case, that health inequalities are a matter of social justice and human rights, that the causes of health inequalities are primarily social, that poverty and poor health are common characteristics of social work service users and, that, therefore, health inequalities are a vital issue for social workers in all settings. A number of implications for social work practice and policy are outlined. The paper concludes that addressing health inequalities implies that social work has to become more actively engaged with critical global social, economic, environmental and political issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-367
Number of pages15
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


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