A basic requirement for the proper functioning of the social system is to allow the whole population to have equal access on health care. In fact, an unequal distribution is noticed when it comes to health but also disease, with socioeconomic determinants affecting both. Unemployment, inability to access health services, living in inappropriate buildings, unhealthy eating habits, low quality of life and social exclusion are some of these factors. Social inequalities, especially those related to chronic diseases, impose a heavy burden on health care system and have adverse effects on patients. The recent pandemic has amplified existing health inequities. Although it is something that affects the entire population, people of lower socioeconomic statuses are expected to record high morbidity and mortality rates. The pandemic demonstrated the need for the state to take the necessary measures and take coordinated action in order to reduce inequalities and protect the most vulnerable groups of the population. The results of these actions will prove to be useful with similar cases in the long run. The purpose of this study is to analyze the socio-economic determinants of health, how to address the morbidity and mortality rates of Covid-19 and to demonstrate the social inequalities, with a focus on chronic diseases. Finally, it aims to present the measures that should be taken by health systems in order to alleviate inequalities in morbidity and mortality rates caused by this new pandemic.
Key words: social inequalities, socioeconomic determinants, chronic diseases, Covid-19