Being a Physiotherapist, I ask this to people who ask about Social Responsibility – what causes the disease? Provision of top notch medical care alone does not address all the causes of poor health; hence doctors, physicians and us Physiotherapists whose task is to promote health, must go beyond medical treatment for individuals, advocating for improvement in the broader conditions that affect health.
There are many determinants of and contributors to health and illness. In addition to the individual behaviors and health practices, determinants of personal health include genetics, demographic factors, exposure to infectious and other illness-causing agents, income, and education. Some people have more control over these factors than do others. Determinants that affect large groups of people include factors such as access to health care, adequate employment and working conditions, clean air and water, safe housing, and freedom from violence. According to the World Health Organization, “The social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels”.