Are patients `customersĹź? What does this mean for the patient-practitioner relationship?What should the relationship be between expert knowledge and our own experiences when dealing with health and illness? Do people who are better off get better access to health care? Debates about the future of health care bring questions about patient choice, paternalism and inequalities to the fore. This book addresses some of the sociological issues surrounding these questions including: The social distribution of knowledgeThe basis of professional powerSources of social inequalities in healthThe ability of health care services to address these issuesThe book provides suggestions and examples of how sociological concepts and insights can be used to help think about important contemporary issues in health care. For that reason, it has a practical as well as academic purpose, contributing to improvement of the quality of interaction between patients and practitioners. The core themes running throughout the book are inequalities in health and the rise of chronic disease, with particular attention being given to psycho-social models of illness which locate individual experiences within wider social relationships.Sociology and Health Care is key reading for student nurses and those on allied health courses, and also appeals to a wide range of professionals who are interested in current debates in health and social care.