Received from: College of Podiatry
The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted endemic inequalities throughout most of society. In healthcare, in the workplace, in education, on jobs, on socio-economic impacts and more.
A recent article in the Journal of Healthcare Leadership highlighted that inequalities in health have existed for many decades but have become even more apparent during the pandemic, with individuals from Black and minority ethnic groups, poorer socio-economic backgrounds, urban and rurally deprived locations, and vulnerable groups of society suffering the full force of its effects.
Congress notes the RCP has seen the disproportionate effect of Covid-19 on its women members, who have been impacted with childcare issues, poorly fitting PPE, being disadvantaged due to maternity issues and dealing with being isolated within domestic violence situations. Our disabled members have juggled with their need to work while being told to shield, but not being eligible for the “benefits” offered by the government. Our BME members are having difficulties with accessing alternative PPE when beards, turbans and hijabs have not been taken into account. Our LGBT+ members have faced lockdown away from their supportive communities and were forced into environments of prejudice. These are just a few examples.
These issues will not go away even if we manage to deal with Covid-19 in the long-term.
Congress, therefore, asks the General Council to call on all political parties to work on a cross-government strategy to reduce health inequalities, increase investment in prevention and public health, and tackle the underlying socio-economic inequalities at the root of preventable ill health and mortality.
Royal College of Podiatry