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Episode 12- Sir Michael Marmot

Season 1, Ep. 12

An interview with Sir Michael Marmot

Show Notes

I was honoured to have a conversation with Sir Michael Marmot just a few weeks before The Marmot Review 10 Years On is due to be released. He told me the report has been performed in ‘the spirit of self examination’ to see if there has been any impact or if any good has come from the original report (2mins). He mentions the importance of the report amid the current context of worrying life expectancy figures (2m45s) and sheds some light on the reasons behind these worrying trends (4m40s).

Sir Michael Marmot is world renowned as a specialist in the impact of inequalities on health with internationally acclaimed research, writing and public speaking on the topic. The professor talks to us about how he perceived his role in all of this (8mins) as someone who synthesises evidence and chains of reasoning (10m40s) to formulate recommendations. Despite being an international spokesperson for such an important issue, Michael tells me that he doesn’t see himself as particularly political (12m50s) but does feel able to present information ‘in the spirit of social justice.’ We discuss if the moral case is enough to inspire or create political change (13m30s) and how to create action around health inequalities. With years of experience of sounding the claxon for this important issue, he gives his views on how we unite people around this goal and how to deal with actors in the system that might not prioritise equity (15m 30s). With government promising more spending we talk about current opportunities for spending in areas that are most in need (17.30) and gives hope that there will be clear recommendations coming out of the report for where government should direct their resources. We talk about practical action for health professionals too with six recommendation of how we as health professionals can take steps try to tackle health inequalities (19mins).

With climate change likely having the biggest impact first to those most disadvantaged and in need, Michael is aware of the current importance of climate change and environment. He shares with us how he is involved in trying to bring the environmental and social determinants of health agendas together and how actions to improve health can contribute to meet carbon neutrality (23mins).

To finish we ask for Michael's book recommendations (24m10s) and his genie wish (28m10s)

Michael's book recommendations (24m10s)

Development Is Freedom – Amarta Sen

Capital Twenty First Century- Thomas Picketty

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (first 2 pages if nothing else)

Further reading

World Medical association report- Doctors for health

Look out for the Marmot review 10years on report due to be release on February 25th

Michael Marmot’s five recommendations of what doctors can do to tackle health inequalities

1. Education

2. Seeing the patient in a broader perspective/wider context

3. Health service as an employer and the health system having an impact on the broader environment and community

4. Working in partnership

5. Advocacy

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