The Social and Cultural Dimensions of Health as a Research Agenda: Establishing the Need for a Research Interest Group (RIG)in Social Medicine


The terms "health inequities," "health disparities," and "health inequalities" reflect the magnitude of differences in health outcomes existing in populations unless we address the underlying causes of disease and I'll health. In the Philippines, Kalusugang Pangkalahatan (KP) or Universal Health Care (UHC) is the health reform agenda of the Aquino administration which has been implemented by the Department of Health (DOH) since 2011. Rather than moving toward a system of universal access to medical care however, the access to and quality of clinical services is being turned over increasingly to the insurance industry leading to the commodification of healthcare. Patients are now “clients” and clinical services are product lines. The present administration of President Duterte is implementing the "All for Health, Health for All" agenda. Through community-oriented patient care, advocacy, research, and training the next generation of physicians will strive to improve our nation's state of public health, social justice, and health equality, hence the need to establish a research agenda for discussions in social medicine (1).

  1. Anderson M, Smith L, Sidel VW. What is social medicine? Mon Rev. 56(8):27–34.
  2. World Health Organization. Declaration of Alma-Ata, Alma-Ata, USSR [Internet]. International Conference on Primary Health Care 6-12 September 1978. 1978 [cited 2017 Feb 12]. Available from:
  3. Social Medicine Portal [Internet]. [cited 2017 Feb 12]. Available from:
  4. Fisher J. A Framework for Educating Health Professionals to Address the Social Determinants of Health. [Internet]. Institute of Medicine. 2016 [cited 2017 Feb 12]. Available from:

Articles related to the one you are viewing

There are currently no results to show, please try again later

CC BY: Open Access Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit