Covid-19 has exposed the 'stark inequalities' that exist in our society: The King's Fund responds to the PHE report on disparities of the risks and outcomes of Covid-19

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Responding to the latest Public Health England report, Disparities in the risk and outcomes of Covid-19, Sally Warren, Director of Policy at The King’s Fund, said:

‘The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the stark inequalities that exist throughout our society. People who have been worst affected by the virus are generally those who had worse health outcomes before the pandemic, including people working in lower-paid professions, those from ethnic minority backgrounds and people living in poorer areas. We’ve known for many years that these groups typically have worse health outcomes, but there has been disappointingly little effort over the past decade to address inequalities and improve people’s health. The scandal is not that the virus has disproportionately affected certain groups, but that it has taken a global pandemic to shine a light on deeply entrenched health inequalities.

‘Public health is about much more than infection control, and healthier populations will be more resilient to new threats. Preventable conditions including obesity and Type 2 diabetes are major risk factors for Covid-19. This should be a wake-up call for the government to make population health an urgent priority. We need ambitious and binding national goals to drive progress, a cross-government strategy to reduce health inequalities and increased investment in prevention and public health.’