The impact of Thatcherism on health and wellbeing in Britain
This 2013 report argues that “Thatcher’s governments wilfully engineered an economic catastrophe across large parts of Britain””
Here’s the link to the academic bit. The link to the Liverpool University review is first.
“Dr Alex Scott-Samuel and colleagues from the Universities of Durham, West of Scotland, Glasgow and Edinburgh, sourced data from over 70 existing research papers, which concludes that as a result of unnecessary unemployment, welfare cuts and damaging housing policies, the former prime minister’s legacy “includes the unnecessary and unjust premature death of many British citizens, together with a substantial and continuing burden of suffering and loss of well-being.”
Speaking about the figures, Dr Scott-Samuel said: “Towards the end of the 1980s we were seeing around 500 excess deaths each year from chronic liver disease and cirrhosis. We also know that there were 2,500 excess deaths per year as a result of unemployment caused by Thatcher’s policies. And these premature deaths represent just the tip of an immense iceberg of sickness and suffering resulting from Thatcherism.”…..
……Whilst the NHS was relatively untouched by Thatcher’s policies, the authors point to policy changes in healthcare such as outsourcing hospital cleaners, which removed “a friendly, reassuring presence” from hospital wards, led to increases in hospital acquired infections, and laid the ground for further privatisation under the future Labour and Coalition governments.
Dr Scott-Samuel said: “The policies of successive Thatcher governments are at the heart of the attacks on the NHS, the welfare state and local authority services by the Coalition government. It is clear that Thatcher’s wholesale changes to the British economy created massive regional and social inequalities which are continuing to have a direct impact on people’s health at the present time.”
At the present time the poor and those with underlying health issues are most at risk of death by covid19. We can thank Thatcher, Blair, Brown, Cameron, Clegg, May and Johnson for that.