More health care doesn’t mean better health – The Globe and Mail

A good reminder that health prevention, including income support, may be a better investment in health than traditional healthcare spending. As someone who has benefitted heavily from healthcare over the past few years, nevertheless this question of relative spending on prevention vs healthcare is needed, as we as society face tough choices on relative priorities. Quote:

There have been remarkable improvements in life expectancy over the past 100 years. The reasons are many: sanitary drinking water, pasteurized milk, safe sewage disposal, work safety, higher standards of living, better education, and cures or immunizations for many communicable diseases such as smallpox and diphtheria…..

What is the primary determinant of population health? There is a huge body of research that shows a strong correlation between income and life expectancy. The effect of income appears to be stronger than many other variables, such as race and education level.

It has been known for some time that the better off people are in terms of income, social status, social networks, sense of control over their lives, self-esteem and education, the healthier they are. Higher incomes are related to better health not only because wealthier people can buy more food, clothing, shelter and other necessities, but also because wealthier people have more choices and control over decisions in their lives. This sense of overall security is intrinsic to good health. Thus, security of income is just as important as the income level itself.

More health care doesn’t mean better health – The Globe and Mail.


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