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Fixin' Healthcare

Friday, March 25, 2011

Public Health and Primary Care Medicine

George Benjamin, MD, Executive Director of the American Public Health Association, has written a summary advocating a public health approach to health care reform. The APHA meeting in June will address this topic. He urges using the Prevention and Public Health Fund included in the health reform law to initiate that effort. Considering that twenty-five of the thirty years increase in life expectancy achieved during the twentieth century were due to public health and only five years the result of medical care plus up to fifty percent of some chronic diseases can be prevented, he makes a good case for the public health approach. Perhaps the health care reform law should be rewritten as the Prevention and Public Health Fund with attention and funding devoted to public health and primary care medicine. There also needs to be an assessment of the education and training of primary health care personnel.

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