How are Wealth and Physical Health Linked?
The extension of health care to the masses has emerged as a big challenge for both the developed and the developing countries. It goes without saying that both the developed and the developing countries tend to face a scarcity of resources required for investing in the expansion their health care networks. To allow for a successful and broad based health care management, it is a must that the developed and the developing countries focus on investing in the basics of health care.
It is facts that many developed countries have succeeded in eradicating some of the most common diseases (Pakenham 2004, p. 42). This was largely made possible by the material resources they had at their disposal. The developed nations have arrived at a new stage in their health care setups. This stage is defined by the provision of some of the most complex medical procedures and services to a section of their population (Pakenham 2004, p. 42). Most of these procedures are required for diseases that are the result of faulty life styles. It goes without saying that these procedures tend to be very costly and resources intensive. As a result the health budgets of most of the developed countries like the UK and the USA run in billions of dollars (Pakenham 2004, p. 43). The developed countries are finding it very difficult to manage this financial aspect of health care. So they are fast reducing the scope and range of services that they provide their populations with (Pakenham 2004, p. 42).
In contrast, in the developing countries, millions of people die every year of diseases that are either preventable or can be easily cured (Pakenham 2004, p. 46). The developed nations were able to win over these diseases by focusing on the basics like clean drinking water and sanitation (Pakenham 2004, p. 46). However the developing nations in Asia and Africa lack the financial resources to provide clean drinking water and sanitation to large sections of their populations (Pakenham 2004, p. 48).
The developed nations can get over the resource crunch they are facing by shifting from a crisis management towards a preventive approach towards healthcare (Pakenham 2004, p. 43). The developing nations can also benefit by focusing on providing primary health care services to their masses. Many developing countries like Cuba and Nigeria have already achieved impressive results by focusing on primary health care (Pakenham 2004, p. 47). Yet, it is a fact that providing primary health care and running the associated programs requires many resources. So the developing countries simply cannot do on their own, without getting some help from the developed nations (Pakenham 2004, p. 48).
Both the developed and developing nations will achieve many benefits if they focus on the primary health care. This involves extending basic facilities like clean drinking water, sanitation, immunization programs, awareness drives, and the diagnosis and treatment of diseases at an early stage.
Pakenham, Kenneth J 2004, Making Connections: A Strategic Approach to
Academic Reading, Cambridge University Press, New York.