The Big Middle

Sir Michael Marmot

Episode Summary

Whither the political will for social justice in public health?

Episode Notes

For this episode, I’m in the central London office of Sir Michael Marmot, a legend in public health and social justice.

He's been waging international battle for a fairer, healthier society for 40 years. Sir Michael was knighted for his work bridging the gap between publlc health and clinical medicine in posts too numerous to mention.

On his Wikipedia page, I counted 25 honourary degrees and awards. On Google Scholar’s most-cited list, Freud is third, Einstein 55th and Sir Michael, number 59.

We discuss what's happened since his landmark review of health inequalities in England in 2010, the reasons for the enduring inequity in health in the UK and US, why the rate of increase in life expectancy is slowing, especially for the poorest women, how governments fail to muster the political will to prioritise public health, the scourge of child poverty, the desperation of the working poor, the staggering cost of childcare in the UK, Brexit, our real-life version of Aldous Huxley's savage satire Brave New World, the fixes he's proposing and the promise of 'Marmot Cities' such as Coventry, Stoke, Bristol and others.