rational health care should be offered to all persons: rich or poor, well or sickBMJ 2005; 331 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7508.E367 (Published 07 July 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:E367
- Paul S Frame, family physician; clinical professor of family medicine1
- 1 Tri-County Family Medicine Cohocton, NY University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry Rochester, NY
Iona Heath makes the provocative assertion that shifting spending from preventive medicine for well populations in developed countries to disease treatments for sick people in poor countries will benefit the health of everyone.
Heath admits that people in developed countries live longer and are, by objective measures, healthier. But she asserts that they suffer from greater rates of self-reported illness created by a medical, industrial, and political conspiracy to medicalize trivial problems in healthy persons. Thus they are somehow less healthy than their brethren in the underdeveloped world, even though they have a significantly longer life span. She proposes to share some of the excess spent in developed countries with the poor in underdeveloped countries, perhaps so they can share in the misery of increased awareness of and rates of self-reported illness? Along the way, one hopes that they will …