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Thursday, 1 October 2009
Essay 03 (Health budgets)
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
Most developed countries spend a large proportion of their health budgets on expensive medical technology and procedures. This money should be spent instead on health education to keep people well. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
You should write at least 250 words.
The idea of diverting the money assigned for expensive medical technology and procedures towards health education will not ensure the health of the people.
Firstly, health education has only a limited role in dealing with a large number health related problems. For example, in order to treat patients who meet with serious accidents huge expenses are required to diagnose and perform medical procedures. Many diseases like cancers and strokes cannot be avoided just by educating people about preventive measures. Furthermore, there are many diseases that are hereditary, like heart ailments and psychiatric problem which require expensive treatment.
Secondly, in spite of continuous awareness programmes through the media or education, many people do not have the discipline to keep away from unhealthy practices. An ideal example would be the increasing popularity of fast foods, which can cause many life style diseases like blood pressure, cardiac problems and diabetes, especially among the young. Educating people about taking precautions against diseases is definitely an important aspect of ensuring the health of the people, but greater importance should be given to treatment of people who are affected by diseases.
On the other hand, health awareness programmes have made great contributions in reducing spread of many epidemics like small pox, bird flu and other viral infections. People have realised the importance of living in a hygienic environments in order to keep away from many common ailments. The prevention of AIDS has been made possible through the world wide awareness programme undertaken by WHO and similar organisations. Greater allocation of funds is required in this area of healthcare but it should not be at the expense of reducing the expenses involved in expensive medical technology and procedures.
In conclusion, the present system of giving greater budgetary allocation to expensive medical care is reasonable.