Europe, Labor market, social policy and social services, External Publications

Who's left behind? Social Dimensions of Health Transition and Utilization of Medical Care in Poland

Published by Boekenplan, Maastricht, The Netherlands, June 2011

Propositions accompanying the dissertation

1. Health improvement of the population might not be possible without rising inequalities as the best off will always be the ones with the greatest health gains; the problem is how to stimulate health improvement for the worse off.

2. Longevity is not a real health gain if living longer means spending a larger proportion of life in poor health or disability.

3. Modern rich societies are successful in ensuring access to basic healthcare services, but what often saves life is costly treatment provided without waiting time; thus the greatest challenge of an equitable healthcare system is to assure access to specialized care and new technologies.

4. Interestingly, it is not necessarily living in social networks, but the perception of social ties and belief in an existence of social support that is important for health.

5. Searching for health deteminants is an endless task as nearly any behaviour, social arrangement or accumulated life experience might have an impact on health.

6. Longevity is beneficial for an individual in most cases; for the society the costs of health improvement and longevity might be overwhelming.

7. Equality in the healthcare system is not only an issue of legal arrangements, but sufficient funding and responsive management.

8. Successful design of a social policy depends mostly on careful data analysis and interpretation, not only on data collection.

9. Designing social policy is far from solving social problems. It is a first step, but the most difficult task only begins.