On the 17th of February, Melbourne School of Government hosted a Boardroom roundtable with Professor David Stuckler. Professor Stuckler’s most recent book, The Body Economic puts forward a radical proposition. Austerity, it argues, is seriously bad for your health. We can prevent financial crises from becoming epidemics, but to do so, we must acknowledge what the hard data tells us: that, throughout history, there is a causal link between the strength of a community’s health and its social protection systems.
The roundtable was attended by high-level senior policy figures from government, not for profit and private sectors. The key outcome from the discussion was a reminder of the challenges to evidence-based policy when data is hard to get or fragmented but also the importance of academics in developing better and timelier data in order to help shape the debate.
You might enjoy this podcast interview with Professor Stuckler, recorded during his visit to the University of Melbourne http://upclose.unimelb.edu.au/episode/362-costing-us-dearly-toll-austerity-policy-public-health