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Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis


Labelle Lectureship: How austerity kills

24 Sep 2013

A pioneering public health expert will describe how countries hit hard by the global financial crisis have damaged the health of their citizens with economic measures taken to balance budgets and stabilize financial markets, at the 22nd annual Labelle Lectureship.  

David Stuckler, Senior Research Leader in Sociology at the University of Oxford, England, and author of The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills, will be the guest lecturer at the event on Oct. 2, from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

While politicians acknowledge the economic and social impacts of the global financial crisis, many have ignored its effects on human health. Stuckler will describe research suggesting that many governments have severely damaged the health of their citizens by adopting harsh austerity measures and cutting key social programs at a time when constituents most need them. Stuckler will talk about how many countries have turned their recessions into health epidemics, ruining or extinguishing thousands of lives with misguided measures to balance budgets and stabilize financial markets.

He will also describe research showing that sound alternative polices could instead help improve economics and protect public health at the same time.

The discussant for the lecture is Ronald Labonte, Canada Research Chair in Globalization & Health Equity, Institute of Population Health and a professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine, University of Ottawa.

The lecture will take place in room 1A1 of the Health Sciences Centre. All are welcome to attend.

Stuckler, who is also a research fellow of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Chatham House, has written more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles on the economics of global health and consulted on the political economy of healthcare for WHO and UNICEF. He earned his PhD in sociology from Cambridge University and has a Master’s degree in public health from Yale University.

The Labelle Lectureship is an annual event organized by CHEPA, the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and the Programs for Assessment of Technology in Health Research Institute. It was established in 1992 in memory of Roberta Labelle, a founding member of CHEPA who died in 1991. The annual lectureship features a health services researcher with emerging recognition and an interdisciplinary approach to research.

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