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Medical News & Perspectives
January 23/30, 2002

WHO Report Urges Putting More Money Behind Words

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JAMA. 2002;287(4):441-442. doi:10.1001/jama.287.4.441-JMN0123-3-1

Since humanitarian and national defense arguments have proven ineffective in getting rich nations, especially the United States, to properly fund health care improvements in impoverished lands, some economic and medical leaders are now appealing to a more basic instinct—making money.

A report prepared for the World Health Organization argues that a modest spending increase by rich counties to aid poor ones in treating the deadliest and most debilitating diseases will save millions of lives while bringing a manyfold return on investment. The report, Macroeconomics and Health: Investing in Health for Economic Development, says that by 2015-2020, increased health investments of $66 billion annually above current spending will generate at least $360 billion while saving 8 million lives a year.

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