Advantage and Disadvantage of Public Health Spending

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Public health spending is normally meant to prevent diseases, prolong life and ensure that the society is fairly healthy. A healthy society is very important for the economic growth of the nation. The government; both federal and state, uses billions of dollars on public health each year. These huge expenditures have their advantages and disadvantages to the public in general. The most important thing is to weigh the advantages against the disadvantages. Public health spending plays a crucial role in providing basic health services to low income communities.

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The biggest advantage of healthcare spending in my opinion, is the improved healthcare services that are made available as a result. Healthcare spending is used to acquire new technologies that make the provision of health services more efficient and cheaper. The public ends up spending less for their health requirements as a result (Daniels, 2012). The finances saved by households as a result, can be used to improve other aspects of their lives and to grow the economy. Public health spending also makes it possible for the government to control the spread of communicable diseases and to act accordingly to diseases outbreaks.

The biggest disadvantage to public health spending on the other hand, is ineffective spending of the money allocated for public health care. For instance, Weinstein, (2012), notes that we are spending one sixth of our national income on public health care and much of the money is not spent efficiently. He notes, as an example, that women do not need to have Pap smear every year. As long as they have had three normal test, Pap smear can then be done after every three years. This, he notes that will be cost effective and will reduce the amount that we spend public health and direct it to other productive areas of the economy.

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  1. Daniels, N. (2012). HARVARD T.H. CHAN: School of Public Health. Public health and the U.S. economy: Spend More to Reduce Risk. Retrieved 1 February 2018, from
  2. Weinstein, M. (2012). HARVARD T.H. CHAN School of Public Health. Public health and the U.S. economy: Identify What is Cost Effective. Retrieved 1 February 2018, from
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