Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? "Public money should be spent on promoting healthy lifestyle rather than on treating illness." Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
While treating illness incurs high treatment costs, maintaining wellness is usually much more cost-effective. An investment strategy to promote people's healthy lifestyle could not only decrease public funding on hospitals but also increase the country's overall productivity. It goes without arguing that staying healthy is just as important as treating illness, so the issue is how to change unhealthy habits, at both national and personal levels.
If the government's business is business, then it certainly makes business sense to spend money in building a healthy culture, if only to reduce health care costs. It is proper to say that focusing on keeping people healthy is keeping them productive. One of the lessons that the recent economic downhill has taught us is the importance of a healthy workforce in getting ahead with the global competition. The government ought to make people aware that they could not reach their potential without looking after their health; nor could organizations reach their potential without a healthy workforce. But awareness alone is not enough to change behavior and achieve the desired health outcomes. For people to succeed in behavior change, they need a new environment, created with public money, that reinforces their self-motivation.
At the personal level, one health problem today is apparently lack of activity as many individuals actually do not do exercise at all. No less obvious is the problem of obesity which causes a variety of illness, including heart attack. In view of this phenomenon, the government should do what money can buy, like campaigns for eating well and going active. Even though people's bad habits die hard, any small progress in a positive way could make a difference in changing personal behaviors. The truth is that movement is movement, and even moderate activities like walking in the park funded by the government could reduce stress and anxiety related to obesity. Simply put, the government had better plan a generous budget to promote public wellness and not to allow matters to get worse, invariably treating illness while losing valuable productivity.
All things being considered, keeping a healthy lifestyle is a personal as well as a national issue that deserves public funding, as does treating illness. To upgrade the general health quality, thereby boosting economic productivity, is the right policy that could pay off gradually. In the end, the health debate is not one of either/or because neither could be a waste of public money.