Health stands at the core of a broader picture of development, as "an adequate conception of development must go much beyond the accumulation of wealth and the growth of gross national product and other income-related variables" (Sen, 1999).
The Nobel Prize-winner Amartya Sen asserted in his book, Development as Freedom (1999), that as development has to be primarily concerned with enhancing the lives we lead and the freedoms we enjoy, then one of the most important freedoms that we have is the freedom from avoidable ill-health and from escapable mortality. The core importance of health in development points directly to the fact that there cannot be development without health and that the two must go hand in hand.
The development framework emphasises the importance of access to health determinants, pointing to the fact that health is more dependent on health determinants than on health infrastructure per se. The same understanding was reinforced from the Alma Ata Declaration, which asserted that much of the most influential action to create health is found in other sectors other than health. The same framework would argue that health inequities are directly related to people's unequal access to society's resources. From here the health of the population becomes more dependent on the distributive policies as Sen puts it "much depends on how the fruits of economic growth are used". Indeed, if we have to tackle health, we have to tackle health determinants, being political, social and economic, both as the underlying conditions of health for all and as a long-term strategy towards a healthy society.