Friday, February 10, 2012

[EQ] Good health at low cost: from slogan to wicked problem

Good health at low cost: from slogan to wicked problem

Lincoln C Chen

The Lancet, Volume 379, Issue 9815, Pages 509 - 510, 11 February 2012 at:


Good Health at Low Cost 25 Years On: What Makes a Successful health System?

Dina Balabanova, Martin McKee, Anne Mills

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 2011

Pp 369. Download a free copy from ISBN-9780902657847


“…..In 1985, the Rockefeller Foundation organised a Bellagio conference that produced the book, Good Health at Low Cost—a slogan that captured the imagination of the global health community. On the basis of four cases—China, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica, and the Indian state of Kerala—the book examined how countries with fairly low income could achieve health indicators similar to, or even better than, comparable high-income countries.


The book concluded that good health can be accelerated by political commitment to health equity, broad-based education, especially of women, and well-performing basic health systems.

25 years later, the Rockefeller Foundation commissioned an international study team, led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, to revisit the slogan.


This time the book's focus is on “what makes a successful health system?” Five fresh cases are examined—Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kyrgyzstan, Thailand, and the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Good Health at Low Cost 25 Years On assigns chapters to each country to highlight core messages, present health conditions, analyse health systems, and explore wider issues. An update of the original countries also features, alongside an analysis of health systems in the context of political and socioeconomic factors.

The original slogan ignited popular imagination because its timing matched global efforts to translate the Declaration of Alma-Ata for Health for All in all countries at all economic levels. What seemed most inspiring was the message that even the poorest countries could achieve good health…..”



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