The issue of rising income inequity is one of global concern. Health researchers have shown low-income countries contribute 56% of global disease burden, but account for only 2% of global expenditure on health (Mathers, 2006). In addition, there is great inequity within most countries. Among adults in the US with chronic conditions, 45% of those with below-average incomes reported going without needed care because of costs, compared with just 4% in the Netherlands (Davis, 2010). Economist Joseph Stiglitz argues, “We are paying a price in terms of our politics and society—inequity is undermining our basic values.” Many policymakers seek to understand how to bridge this gap.
This panel looked at how health IT ameliorates or deepens these health inequalities both in the US and low and middle-income countries (LMICs), and what can be done to decrease these inequalities.