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Table 3 Recommended interventions and policy measures

From: The development of a strategy for tackling health inequalities in the Netherlands

Interventions and policies targeting socioeconomic disadvantage
• Continuation of policies that promote educational achievement of children from lower socioeconomic families.
• Prevention of an increase of income inequalities through adequate tax and social security policies.
• Intensification of anti-poverty policies, particularly policies that relieve long-term poverty through special benefit schemes and assistance with finding paid employment.
• Further development and implementation of special benefit schemes for families whose financial situation threatens the health of their children.
Interventions and policies targeting health-related selection
• Maintaining benefit levels for long-term work disability, particularly for those who are fully work disabled and those who are partly work disabled due to occupational health problems
• Adaptation of working conditions for the chronically ill and disabled in order to increase their work participation.
• Health interventions among long-term recipients of social assistance benefits in order to remove barriers for finding paid employment.
• Further development and implementation of counselling schemes for school pupils with regular or long-term absenteeism because of health problems.
Interventions and policies targeting factors mediating the effect of socioeconomic disadvantage on health
• Adapting health promotion programs to the needs of lower socioeconomic groups, particularly by focusing on environmental measures including the introduction of free fruit at primary schools and an increase of the excise tax on tobacco.
• Implementation of school health promotion programs that target health-related behaviour (particularly smoking) among children from lower socioeconomic families.
• Introduction of health promotion efforts into urban regeneration programs.
• Implementation of technical and organisational measures to reduce physical workload in low-level occupations.
Interventions and policies targeting accessibility and quality of health care services
• Maintaining good financial accessibility of health care for people from lower socioeconomic groups
• Relieving the shortage of general practitioners in disadvantaged areas.
• Reinforcing primary health care in disadvantaged areas by employing more practice assistants, nurse practitioners and peer educators, e.g. for implementing cardiovascular disease prevention programs and better care for chronically ill persons.
• Implementation of local care networks aiming for the prevention of homeliness and other social problems among chronic psychiatric patients.