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Global Health Spending

Recycling money away from real need

hspendWashington, DC. Global health funding hit an all-time high of $31.3 billion in 2013, five times greater than in 1990. Yet with 3.9% growth from 2012 to 2013, the year-over-year increase falls short of the rapid rates seen over the previous decade, according to new research by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington being published online in a web first edition on April 8 by Health Affairs.

Health care costs keep escalating and everyone expects more from the health care dollar, but is this reasonable? The total world spending on health in 2003 according to the World Health Organization (WHO) was 10.2 percent of global GDP or $3.7 trillion. To put this in perspective, this is the equivalent of $500 per person and almost one half of this total amount was spent in the USA*.

In 2009 according to the WHO, this figure rose to 4 trillion and looks set continue as world population increases and the gap between rich and poor widens increasing the levels of chronic disease that may be prevented or cured with adequate clean water and nutrition.

According to a recent report in USA Today, one of the fastest growing areas of expense is military health spending in which the USA increased some 167 percent from $19 billion it spent in 2001 and the projected expenditure in 2011 is $50.7 billion. As war and the contest for global domination intensifies, military spending which is about one half the total world health spending keeps on rising directly pushing up the health care bill.

The military/ political control and manipulation of populations deprives those populations access to adequate nutrition and health care.

The corporate component here is the agribusiness, the production of foodstuffs with little or questionable nutritive values from GE to Styrofoam bread** which undermines the health of the healthy and slow the recovery of those unwell. There is also the production and deceptive marketing of questionable products and drugs that have harmful effects on human health.

Governments allow corporations to pass on any product to the public that the corporations can prove to be at best unharmful in very short term studies. For any product to be completely safe, trials need to be over many years and not weeks or months as with tholidamyde and other drugs*** that have been recalled as unsafe.

While some politicians aspire to stand up for peoples rights, most seem to have personal ambitions where a portion of the population is expendable for the sake of profits which in military jargon are 'acceptable losses' meaning a 'sacrifice deemed an acceptable cost of doing business'.

The public are often caught in the middle, they are struggling to keep up with inflation, attempting to earn enough to finance an increasingly addictive lifestyle and not fully understanding the implications of eating the foods they eat and the chemicals often used. Then when they become ill, they struggle to afford health care and often end up purchasing care that hastens their demise.

Health and physical care are not a major or balanced part of education as education is controlled by governments and corporations. The corporations use media to control public opinion and in effect educate the population to believe in the corporation. Perhaps its time Michael Moore's documentary on the corporation along with more holistic health care should be on all school curriculum.

If we are to continue as a species, it must be the duty of governments to put an end to war, limit the power of the corporations, and see that the people are adequately educated and have available clean water and healthy foods.

Is such social change possible?


Health for Sale asks: are the world's
largest drug companies, paradoxically,
major obstacles to making a
healthier world? The full documentary
features on discovery channel.

It seems that hostility, war, white bread, the aspirations to power, the desire to dominate and control, white bread, sugar, coffee, drugs and other addictions are impossible to give up and humanity is spiraling toward extinction. Our leaders say they are concerned but do nothing as after the next election it will become someone else's problem. At present there are still more than sufficient people to pay taxes and play the game of materialism. But like a human life, materialism must one day pass and as has happened in our recent history, civilizations peak and fall leaving the few survivors back in the stone age to begin all over again.

* Including all moneys spent by governments, providers, and individuals on "preventive and curative" health services, family planning activities, nutrition programs, and emergency medical aid.

At the end of the day, money is just an idea!!

Health care as with every aspect of humanity is controlled and affected by Politics and Money. The politicians decide what health care we have access to and how much it will cost, and of course where there is money and power, we also get conspiracies.

Of course the most affordable form of health care is preventive medicine;  if people don't get sick, they don't need to be fixed and this would greatly reduce health care costs.

Have a listen to of this video, jump to half way through for a discussion on what money really is and how it affects our world.

Money

The health-care system is funded by money, however it is the desire for profits over true human concern that is causing the breakdown in the health-care system we are experiencing today. You can argue that yes, we are getting better health care than most of out forefathers, but the most annoying feature of health care is that it is based on treating symptoms and not treating the cause of illness or putting money into preventative medicine.

You probably know the expression "money talks" and this took on a more sinister implication as Germany launched its mass-vaccination program against the H1N1 flu virus in October 2009 where the government was accused of favouritism because it offered one vaccine believed to have fewer side effects to civil servants, politicians and soldiers, and another, potentially riskier vaccine to everyone else, read more.

How does government affect health?

Governments typically make the laws and dictate what the rules of business exist within a country. These rules also include health care, but there is far more to health care than at first meets the eye... Just think: We are what we eat and if we do not get adequate nutrition from safe and non toxic sources, our health will suffer.

  • We are what we eat
    If a government allows any degradation of our food supply, which includes genetic engineering and chemicalized agribusiness and contamination of our food supply with other pollutants which have detrimental effects on animal and human health, our health and the health of our children will suffer.
  • If a government restricts access to affordable preventative medicine as the EU and Australia restrict access to natural vitamins, peoples health will suffer.
  • If a government restricts access to the wilderness or allows the wilderness to degrade, peoples health will suffer. The over fishing of our rivers and oceans, pollution of land, rivers and oceans by agribusiness and deforestation are all examples.

References:
Health spending stats by country
Emax Health
Global Issues
** The Big Bread Lie, by Natalie

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