Spending Enough On Public Health David Hemenway Summary

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In this article written by David Hemenway, Why We Don't Spend enough on Public Health it takes a look at how public health versus the practice of medicine is viewed. The article describes Public Health as the underdog and the poor relations in the field of Medicine. The Public Health department does not receive the accolades that the Practice of Medicine gets, clearly outlined in the article, Practice of Medicine being “flashy and accomplishment widely celebrated”, whereas Public Health described as “being mundane and invisible.” (Hemenway, 2010) This article shines a light on how underappreciated and less notoriety, Public Health receives; the writer, however, places emphases on the important role it plays in society. In the article
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The key reasons: benefits of public health programs are not presently available; those who benefit from public health are unknown; benefactors of public health is unknown and societal attitude regarding public health. These key points seem to be valid in regards to public health’s lack of funding issue. Funding issues for public health is general knowledge by shifting resources from a curative standpoint to a preventive standpoint could decrease people’s mortality and morbidity rate.

Key point one, benefits of public health programs are not presently available. In keeping with public health programs design most of the measures are considered to help in future crisis. Currently, we invest in public health for example in the article the writer states “road improvement, mad cow disease or limiting climate change is investment for the future.” (Hemenway, 2010) The understanding that future generation will reap the benefit but present generation bears the cost, government official have understanding of the dilemma of the risk vs the cost of funding public health. There is a great effort in putting the fires out presently but less on preventing crisis of the future. In terms of medicine we seek care for immediate problem or solution for illness or injury. In terms of investment it is more feasible for this because the return it immediate vs public health’s
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In medicine you know who benefits from the treatment measures, public health however, deals with statical data vs actual populace. In medicine you are receiving direct care, public health intervention are aimed at more preventive measure for the population which is not known whose lives are being saved. The writer states “that people have a strong emotional and moral reaction to a dilemma of identifiable victims that to statistical victims” (Hemenway, 2010). The example used in the article was the Jessic McClure story where at 18 months she fell down a well. The community rally around her and spent millions of dollars to save her life. But unwilling to spend the same amount in prevention of deaths of statical babies. In public eye if its not visable then not a tangable issue. There is less emphasis placed on providing resources for preventing devastion, then if occurs. In general we would rather identified before applying the limited resources that would be made