|HOME | BUSINESS | REPORT|
|May 22, 1999||
Low-wage, organised economies facilitate good health, Amartya tells WHO
Low per capita income is not necessarily a barrier to good health, according to Nobel laureate Amartya Sen.
As basic medical care is labour-intensive, low-wage economies have lower medical costs and can achieve higher health results through good economic organisation, he said. He cited the example of Kerala while addressing the World Health Assembly in Geneva, according to a media statement of the World Health Organisation.
Clubbing the experience of the south Indian state along with that of Sri Lanka, pre-reform China and Costa Rica, he said despite average economic growth, they could achieve rapid reduction in mortality rate and better living conditions because of heavy public spending on education and health.
''Good health is an integral part of good development. Financial conservatism should be the nightmare of the militarist, not of the doctor or the school teacher or the hospital nurse,'' he added.
A fuller accounting of the use of public resources for purposes where social benefits are unclear, such as the massive expenses on military, was needed.
Sen said rapid economic growth has helped improve health in some countries where growth is widespread. In such economies, income is used to expand healthcare, education and social security.
About the public sector-private sector development dilemma in southeast Asia, he said the importance of the public sector in fields like healthcare is very well established. The private sector which gets its incentives from the profit motive is rather neglectful in this sector.
"To improve the quality of the public sector, you have to provide the same incentives in other ways. This requires active public information and debate on how healthcare is being provided. It requires constant vigil about the quality of hospital, medical nursing services and the like. For democracies like India, this is the direction to take and the role is both for the government as well as the opposition parties," he added.
|Tell us what you think of this report|
BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL RESERVATIONS | WORLD CUP 99
EDUCATION | PERSONAL HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | FEEDBACK