What are governments for? By common consent, one responsibility is to defend the nation from aggression. Another is to promote national prosperity? But what about improving the health of the population? Here, opinions are often divided. Is this primarily the responsibility of the individual, who will derive a clear personal benefit from investing in their health? Of does the government have a role, beyond that of altruism and protection of the public against those who would harm others because of mental illness or contagious disease? In this presentation, Martin McKee will argue that there is a case for governments to invest in (as opposed simply to spending money on) health, just as they would spend money on education and transport and communications infrastructure. he will examine the association between health and economic growth, but also the scope to create a virtuous circle linking health, health systems, and the economy.
Further reading: Figueras J, McKee M. Health systems, health and wealth: Assessing the case for investing in health systems. Buckingham: Open University Press, 2011.
About Prof Martin McKee
Martin McKee is Professor of European Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He qualified in medicine in Northern Ireland, with subsequent training in internal medicine and public health. In addition to his position at the London School, he co-directs the European Centre on Health of Societies in Transition and is research director of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, a unique partnership of universities, national and regional governments, and international agencies.
He has published more than 740 scientific papers and 42 books, was an editor of the European Journal of Public Health for 15 years and is an editorial consultant to The Lancet. In 2005 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).
Professor McKee's research and analysis is particularly relevant as we look at opportunities and challenges for New Zealand's economic performance, with the objective of building a prosperous, sustainable and inclusive economy that can deliver higher living standards for all New Zealanders.
Note: Papers, presentation slides and any other material provided by the Guest Lecturer will be made available some time after the lecture at Publications > Media & Speeches > Guest Lectures by Visiting Academics.