January 11, 2016

Economic perspectives on public health

Promoting Health, Preventing Disease:The Economic Case

The rethoric behind disease prevention and Health promotion is well known. However, in practice, more needs to be done. A new book by WHO Euro reflects the economic case for such policies
Health promotion and disease prevention have a major role to play in Health policy worldwide, yet they are underused, partly because evidence to suport a strong case for action is difficult to gather. Aimed at a broad audience of policymakers, practitioners and academics, this book is designed to provide an economic perspective on the challenges to better health promotion and chronic disease prevention.
Four diferent considerations:
  • The costs of inaction: What are the economic consequences of not taking action to promote and protect the health of the population?
  • The costs of action: What would it cost to intervene by providing a promotion or preventive measure?
  • The cost-effectiveness of action: What is the balance between what it costs to intervene and what would be achieved in terms of better outcomes – e.g. emotional well-being, physical health, improved quality of life, educational performance?
  • The levers for change: What economic incentives can encourage more use of those interventions that are thought to be cost-effective and less use of those interventions which are not?
This book will be a key reference for public health policies, the background and state of the art, pros and cons of each policy, are clearly detailed. Highly recommended.