Papers & Positions

What does it mean to be healthy? Personally, and societally …. and why do we not care?

Globally, our systems of healthcare are in crisis. We consistently fail to see, to witness the true impact ill health has for our society. While we are spiralling towards panic, the truth is hiding in plain sight. Anywhere that you care to look, the most effective health interventions have little to do with the healthcare industry. They include public policies to alleviate poverty, incentives to encourage good diets and the supply of healthy food, measures to free up more time for exercise and play and parenting. If we want healthcare that is truly disruptive, we need to stop seeing health in isolation from our larger environment. We need to abandon the mistaken belief that the only crisis in healthcare is cost, of treatment and of medical science, and hence that the real measure of ill health is financial. Health in this larger sense is a shared endeavour, a process of societal change for future generations. Then we would understand the real meaning of healthy.

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