Intended for healthcare professionals

Editor's Choice

How to make yourselves redundant

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: (Published 08 November 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k4706

If we all live healthy will we all die cheaply?

"Matt Hancock, called for a greater focus on prevention (doi:10.1136/bmj.k4684). If properly funded and implemented over time, this should indeed help more people to keep away from doctors." For a while. Not forever.

It is pleasing to think that good health begets decreased costs. However, all will die and most will do so of a chronic disease preceded by medical treatments. Living longer as healthy people generally does generate additional expenses as well. (1)

(1) van Baal PH, Polder JJ, de Wit GA, et al. Lifetime medical costs of obesity: prevention no cure for increasing health expenditure. PLoS Med. 2008;5(2):e29.

Competing interests: No competing interests

09 November 2018
Stephen Workman
Dalhousie University
Dalhousie University Halifax NS Canada