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Dear health minister: tend the garden but make sure you fence the crocodiles
  1. Frances E Baum,
  2. Paul Laris,
  3. Matthew Fisher,
  4. Lareen A Newman,
  5. Colin MacDougall
  1. Faculty of Health Sciences, Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Professor Fran E Baum, Faculty of Health Sciences, Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, Australia; fran.baum{at}flinders.edu.au

Abstract

This paper offers lessons to in-coming health ministers on how they can act to reduce inequities and take action on social determinants. It draws on an interview study of twenty former Australian State, Territory and Federal health ministers about the extent to which they were able to do these things during their tenure. In order to take effective health equity action the health ministers advised: ensure evidence is used to develop a strong party policy platform for health equity; install policy entrepreneurs for health equity and social determinants in the health ministry; build popular constituencies through processes of deliberative democracy; establish context appropriate cross-department mechanisms to co-ordinate action on social determinants; and be elected in the context of a political party which values social justice and redistribution.

  • HEALTH POLICY
  • HEALTH PROMOTION
  • Health inequalities
  • PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY
  • PUBLIC HEALTH

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