Sat%20Feb%2006%2012%3a01%3a39%20EST%202010-1265475699365-The%20Lancet%202003%20Waitzkin

Sat%20Feb%2006%2012%3a01%3a39%20EST%202010-1265475699365-The%20Lancet%202003%20Waitzkin

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
For personal use. Only reproduce with permission from The Lancet Publishing Group. VIEWPOINT The Report on Macroeconomics and Health: Investing in Health for Economic Development 1 culminates a series of WHO projects on economic issues in health policy, health services, and public health. A focus on economic development and productivity partly indicates increased funding of WHO activities by the World Bank. Many of the conceptual and methodological approaches discussed in the report mirror those of the World Bank (panel 1). 1–3 Most of the WHO commissioners responsible for the report (panel 2) 1,4,5 hold extensive experience with the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), or other multilateral lending agencies. Notably absent among the commissioners are representatives of non- governmental organisations, political parties, unions, professional organisations in medicine and public health, organisations of indigenous or ethnic minorities, activists in occupational and environmental health, and members of the worldwide movement targeting economic globalisation. The meanings of investing in health In asserting that disease is a major determinant of poverty, the authors of the report argue that investments to improve health form a key strategy towards economic development. They distance themselves from previous interpretations of poverty as a cause of disease; instead, they emphasise various data on the “channels of influence from disease to economic development”. The authors shift emphasis from the social determinants of disease, such as class hierarchies, inequalities of income and wealth, and ethnic origin and racism. Although the authors refer to health as “an end in itself”, the focus on economic productivity diminishes the importance of health as a fundamental human right. Investing in health, the subtitle of the report, echoes the World Bank’s controversial World Development Report 1993 : Investing in Health . 6 The term conveys a double meaning—investing to improve health, economic productivity, and poverty; and investing capital, especially private capital, as a route to private profit in the health sector. As observers in Latin America, India, and Africa have noted, the World Bank’s 1993 report opened avenues for private investment in formerly public programmes. 3,7,8 This new report fosters similar policies. Financing versus reform According to the report , governmental reform must accompany new financial contributions. Such reform involves streamlining the public sector, privatisation, Lancet 2003; 361: 523–26 Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of New Mexico, 2400 Tucker Avenue NE, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA (Prof H Waitzkin MD) (e-mail: [email protected]) public funding of private services, and introduction of market principles based on competition. Although these elements of reform resemble structural adjustment, previously required by the World Bank and IMF, the authors of the report argue that both external financing
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 02/13/2010 for the course ANT 4930 taught by Professor Young during the Spring '10 term at University of Florida.

Page1 / 4

Sat%20Feb%2006%2012%3a01%3a39%20EST%202010-1265475699365-The%20Lancet%202003%20Waitzkin

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online