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Health and environment issues


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Revision presentation on health and environment issues for Unit 4b

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Health and environment issues

  1. 1. Health Issues<br />
  2. 2. NHS<br />Started in 1948<br />Beveridge report had identified poor healthcare as a problem during WWII (along with education and social security)<br />Labour government made it a priority to eradicate “Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness”<br />The free market system before 1948 had not worked well as a lot of the population did not have healthcare<br />
  3. 3. Health care pre 1948<br />Charging for healthcare led to this being under-consumed<br />What problems may this under-consumption have caused?<br />
  4. 4. Health as an externality<br />Healthcare has positive externalities <br />Income is redistributed<br />Less is wasted because of ill health e.g. productivity<br />Disease is not so easily spread because of vaccination<br />Less will need to be paid out through sickness benefits<br />
  5. 5. Problems since the start…<br />Medical advances including new treatments and better diagnosis have led to a massive increase in demand for the NHS<br />Education was not delivered well e.g. eating, smoking, drinking alcohol <br />Drugs were developed which are expensive to the NHS<br />The government initially thought that the cost of the NHS would FALL after a period as health improved!<br />
  6. 6. Supply and demand<br />When the price is zero, demand is unlimited<br />There will always be excess demand, unless funding is unlimited<br />Supply is determined by the budget for the NHS and, potentially, through equipment and staffing<br />
  7. 7.
  8. 8. Supply and demand in NHS<br />
  9. 9. How do you deal with unlimited demand?<br />Waiting lists were the traditional way – and to some extent still are<br />Introduce charges (prescription, dental, optician) for those who can afford<br />Set up NICE – National Institute for Clinical Excellence<br />Encourage prevention – obesity, smoking, drugs, alcohol<br />Medicare Australia – AU$60 for visiting GP<br />
  10. 10. NICE<br />Aims to spend money where there is the biggest benefit<br />An economic decision is made whether or not to approve a drug or procedure on the NHS<br />This is not a quick process and NICE tries to balance this by looking at how productive people would be, could they recover?<br />High cost, little benefit treatments are usually not given approval<br />
  11. 11. Taxing harmful activities<br />
  12. 12. Taxing….<br />Aims to reduce consumption<br />Reduce negative externalities by internalising these<br />Can alcohol be treated the same as smoking tobacco? <br />
  13. 13. Tobacco and alcohol<br />Alcohol is less inelastic (more elastic)<br />Tobacco is always harmful<br />Moderate alcohol is not!<br />Thousands of jobs related to alcohol (and tax revenue)<br />
  14. 14. Discussion<br />Should the government be involved in our lives by saying what we should and should not do?<br />Should fat patients be made to wait for treatment?<br />Should we be doing more to reduce alcohol consumption? <br />Should healthcare be provided free at the point of care?<br />What are the failures of UK healthcare?<br />How could these failures be eradicated?<br />
  15. 15. Environment<br />
  16. 16. Environment<br />There is discussion about the effects on the environment of human activity<br />It is generally accepted that humans have caused damage<br />Most damage is done by developed nations<br />Some developing countries are rising fast to become big polluters, and many more are likely to follow<br />
  17. 17. Who should pay?<br />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<br />
  18. 18. Potential solutions<br />
  19. 19. Kyoto<br />Signed in 1997<br />Developed nations aimed to reduce carbon emissions by 5.2% below 1990 levels by 2008-2012 (recession analysis point)<br />141 countries ratified the agreement<br />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<br />
  20. 20. Kyoto and the non-signers<br />US and Australia refused to sign<br />Australia has since signed<br />US sees Kyoto (and Copenhagen, 2009) as a serious threat to the development of its economy<br />Analysis – if the US does not reduce and there are serious environmental problems in the US, who is to blame?<br />Could the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico be a consequence <br />
  21. 21. The problem with China<br />China has had a growing economy for a long time and this is having an impact on its emission<br />The growing economy has led to an increase in demand for raw materials and consumer goods, which all have a polluting effect<br />In addition, cars and airplane journeys are increasing which create more pollution<br />
  22. 22. China<br />
  23. 23. China<br />¼ of the country is now desert<br />Every major river system has been affected by untreated sewage<br />70% of the world’s discarded computers end up in China, some parts reused and the rest dumped in landfill sites – toxic effect<br />Acid rain causes problems in neighbouring countries <br />Much development has not taken account of the environmental (or social) impact of these – causing negative externalities which will last for years<br />
  24. 24. China<br />The demand for resources has led to forests being destroyed in the Philippines, Thailand and Cambodia<br />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<br />
  25. 25. Discussion<br />Should the US and China have signed up to Kyoto and why?<br />How can UK consumers/government help to convince China and the US to be more environmentally aware?<br />Do the negative externalities only affect one country?<br />Is the carbon trading scheme in the EU the best way to go about reducing pollution?<br />Have we learned anything since the ozone crisis in the late 1980s?<br />