HealthEquity Benefits the Economy
Healthequity refers to the goals or principles that motivate efforts toeliminate disparities in healthcare between economically, sociallyand social-economical groups of people. Health disparities are usedto measure the progress towards health equity. Health inequitiesresult to the ongoing patterns of disruptions that jeopardizechildren development, create substantive health issues and reduceindividual lifespan in the society. Bringing an equity perspective tohealth acknowledges both the intrinsic value and leads to good healththat enables people to participate in society with potentiallypositive consequences for a countries economic performance (Wilcock,2006). Societies should address health inequities because that wouldbe good for the economy in the following ways:
Reductionof health inequity will help improve the economy a great deal. Forinstance, it is noted that if all European Union countries decide toreduce health inequities by 10%, the economic benefits would sum upto:
€72 billion through gains in health as a ‘consumption good’ that is, there will be increased sense of wellness and satisfaction.
€20 billion through reduced health care costs
€14 billion through gains in health as a ‘capital good’ where there will be increased labor productivity and
€6 billion through reduced social security costs.
Inaddition, a 34% reduction in smocking in the lower social-economicalgroups can result to significant gains in life span. This will alsoincrease the productivity, reduce health care costs, reduce socialsecurity and generate significant economic benefits for the society(Wilcock& Hocking, 2015).
However,despite the existing benefits of reducing disparity, it can be statedthat reducing disparity would increase taxes because tax payers’money would be used to implement this element. There are also fearsthat reducing disparity would lower the health status for the mostadvantaged in the society. This implies that trying to balance heathstatus of all the individual would mean equal opportunities for boththe rich and the poor which can be a difficult task to attain forcingthe health status of the rich to be lowered to a level that theycompare to the poor (Wilcock& Hocking, 2015).
Despitethe argument, a policy that appropriately aids those who are lesswell off by bringing them closer to the outcomes attained by thosewho are more advantaged is important for improving overall populationhealth. There is therefore the need for the government and all healthstakeholders and institutions to ensure health equity in order toreduce heath disparities that are currently causing problems to thehealth system.
Wilcock,A., & Hocking, C. (2015). Dominant Concepts and ContemporaryPriorities. In An
occupationalperspective of health (Third ed.). Thorofare, New Jersey: SLACKIncorporated.
Wilcock,A. A. (2006). Anoccupational perspective of health.Slack Incorporated.