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29 Apr, 2013 18:37

Austerity policies make people suicidal - research

Austerity policies make people suicidal - research

Harsh austerity policies brought on by the financial crisis in Europe and the United States cause serious health problems, scientists say.

The number of suicide cases, those registering with depression and various infections has significantly grown over past few years, the Telegraph reports, citing political economist David Stuckler from Oxford University and professor of medicine Sanjay Basu from Stanford University.  The couple have written a book on the influence of economic problems on people’s health, which is due to be published next week.

"So far Europe’s leaders have been in denial about the human cost of the austerity policies that have been pursued across Europe and pursued in North America, with the sequester recently passed,"
David Stuckler told RT. "What we need to do is take into account the health effects of economic policies. Had austerity been run like any other drug trial it would’ve been discontinued because of its deadly side effects."

According to the academics, the rate of the Aids-causing HIV virus increased by 200% in Greece as the health system was severely affected by the implemented financial cuts. Enormous figures of youth unemployment prompted drug abuse cases to increase, which only boosted the spread of the virus.

In the UK 10,000 families have been pushed to the edge of poverty and homelessness by the austerity budget. And in the United States as many as five million people have been cut off from the healthcare system since the recession, because they simply can’t afford it.