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Fixin' Healthcare

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Lifestyle Chronicles - Health Of The Public (Public Health)

The cholera epidemic of 1854 in London created an interface between Public Health and Urban Planning leading to decreased health risk and improved health status that permitted the subsequent development of large cities. That was just the beginning for Public Health, which has been the dominant factor contributing to longer life and improved health status over the past 150 years.

Arguably the improvement of health status has slowed during the past 25 years and health care has become a conspicuous example of diminishing returns for resources expended. The situation has elevated health care reform to the top of the public agenda.

The expanding gap between public health and clinical medicine should be a consideration during the debate on health care reform. It would be useful if several academic institutions considered merger of their schools of medicine and public health. My guess is that it would open a new arena and create an era of increased productivity for health care.

NYC has just announced an effort to increase access to healthy food in low-income communities. Think about it.

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