Health and environment issues
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Health and environment issues



Revision presentation on health and environment issues for Unit 4b

Revision presentation on health and environment issues for Unit 4b



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    Health and environment issues Health and environment issues Presentation Transcript

    • Health Issues
    • NHS
      Started in 1948
      Beveridge report had identified poor healthcare as a problem during WWII (along with education and social security)
      Labour government made it a priority to eradicate “Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness”
      The free market system before 1948 had not worked well as a lot of the population did not have healthcare
    • Health care pre 1948
      Charging for healthcare led to this being under-consumed
      What problems may this under-consumption have caused?
    • Health as an externality
      Healthcare has positive externalities
      Income is redistributed
      Less is wasted because of ill health e.g. productivity
      Disease is not so easily spread because of vaccination
      Less will need to be paid out through sickness benefits
    • Problems since the start…
      Medical advances including new treatments and better diagnosis have led to a massive increase in demand for the NHS
      Education was not delivered well e.g. eating, smoking, drinking alcohol
      Drugs were developed which are expensive to the NHS
      The government initially thought that the cost of the NHS would FALL after a period as health improved!
    • Supply and demand
      When the price is zero, demand is unlimited
      There will always be excess demand, unless funding is unlimited
      Supply is determined by the budget for the NHS and, potentially, through equipment and staffing
    • Supply and demand in NHS
    • How do you deal with unlimited demand?
      Waiting lists were the traditional way – and to some extent still are
      Introduce charges (prescription, dental, optician) for those who can afford
      Set up NICE – National Institute for Clinical Excellence
      Encourage prevention – obesity, smoking, drugs, alcohol
      Medicare Australia – AU$60 for visiting GP
    • NICE
      Aims to spend money where there is the biggest benefit
      An economic decision is made whether or not to approve a drug or procedure on the NHS
      This is not a quick process and NICE tries to balance this by looking at how productive people would be, could they recover?
      High cost, little benefit treatments are usually not given approval
    • Taxing harmful activities
    • Taxing….
      Aims to reduce consumption
      Reduce negative externalities by internalising these
      Can alcohol be treated the same as smoking tobacco?
    • Tobacco and alcohol
      Alcohol is less inelastic (more elastic)
      Tobacco is always harmful
      Moderate alcohol is not!
      Thousands of jobs related to alcohol (and tax revenue)
    • Discussion
      Should the government be involved in our lives by saying what we should and should not do?
      Should fat patients be made to wait for treatment?
      Should we be doing more to reduce alcohol consumption?
      Should healthcare be provided free at the point of care?
      What are the failures of UK healthcare?
      How could these failures be eradicated?
    • Environment
    • Environment
      There is discussion about the effects on the environment of human activity
      It is generally accepted that humans have caused damage
      Most damage is done by developed nations
      Some developing countries are rising fast to become big polluters, and many more are likely to follow
    • Who should pay?
      Developing nations argue that developed nations should pay for the damage as they are causing most of it, and that developing nations have little resources to deal with the issue
    • Potential solutions
    • Kyoto
      Signed in 1997
      Developed nations aimed to reduce carbon emissions by 5.2% below 1990 levels by 2008-2012 (recession analysis point)
      141 countries ratified the agreement
      EU chose a ‘market’ solution – tradable permits – buy and sell permits as required with financial gain or loss – still a generous allowance but (analysis) the scheme is in place so allowances may fall and it may have more of an impact
    • Kyoto and the non-signers
      US and Australia refused to sign
      Australia has since signed
      US sees Kyoto (and Copenhagen, 2009) as a serious threat to the development of its economy
      Analysis – if the US does not reduce and there are serious environmental problems in the US, who is to blame?
      Could the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico be a consequence
    • The problem with China
      China has had a growing economy for a long time and this is having an impact on its emission
      The growing economy has led to an increase in demand for raw materials and consumer goods, which all have a polluting effect
      In addition, cars and airplane journeys are increasing which create more pollution
    • China
    • China
      ¼ of the country is now desert
      Every major river system has been affected by untreated sewage
      70% of the world’s discarded computers end up in China, some parts reused and the rest dumped in landfill sites – toxic effect
      Acid rain causes problems in neighbouring countries
      Much development has not taken account of the environmental (or social) impact of these – causing negative externalities which will last for years
    • China
      The demand for resources has led to forests being destroyed in the Philippines, Thailand and Cambodia
      In order to get resources from Africa, the Chinese have helped to build dams, roads and bridges in Africa without care and consideration for the environment
    • Discussion
      Should the US and China have signed up to Kyoto and why?
      How can UK consumers/government help to convince China and the US to be more environmentally aware?
      Do the negative externalities only affect one country?
      Is the carbon trading scheme in the EU the best way to go about reducing pollution?
      Have we learned anything since the ozone crisis in the late 1980s?