This chapter examines the influence of affluence, political economy and public policy on health performance. Although there is much healthy skepticism regarding the effectiveness of the medical community in improving health and well-being relative to the influence of improved living standards rooted in economic growth, this chapter shows that both are important. This chapter also suggests that medical intervention has had substantial effects in both preventing and managing many diseases and it had extended life expectancy free of disability for elderly men and women by several years and reduced infant mortality rates.
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