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July 9, 1927


Author Affiliations

Director for the United States, International Health Board of the Rockefeller Foundation NEW YORK

JAMA. 1927;89(2):77-82. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690020001001

The economics of public health, as I understand the subject, relates to the policy the government has pursued or should follow with reference to the conservation of human health. All important nations are committed to the policy of developing and conserving their natural resources. The citizens who compose the nation represent the most important item in the list of national assets. The protection of their lives and health is regarded as essential to the national welfare. Likewise states, counties and municipalities recognize that the safeguarding of the life and health of the people is a government responsibility. The principle has received universal adoption, but the programs for applying it vary widely as to scope, cost and results.

If the government, in the discharge of its responsibility to society, is to deal intelligently with the problem of human health, it must ascertain the present situation with reference to the amount of