RESEARCH ARTICLE


Can We Learn From History? Policy Responses and Strategies to Meet Health Care Needs in Times of Severe Economic Crisis



Kai-Lit Phua*
Monash University (Sunway Campus), Medicine and Health Sciences, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, 46150 Bandar Sunway, Selangor, Malaysia.


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Phua et al.; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Monash University (Sunway Campus), Medicine and Health Sciences, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, 46150 Bandar Sunway, Selangor, Malaysia; Tel: (+603)-5514-6324; Fax: (+603)- 5514-6323; E-mails: phuakl@hotmail.com


Abstract

The current economic crisis appears to be the worst since the Great Depression. Severe problems in the financial sector have spread to the rest of the economy and resulted in falling exports, rising unemployment, government budget deficits and economic contraction in many countries. Research has shown a significant relationship between unemployment and poor health at both the level of the population and the individual. We can learn from the history of past economic crises in terms of the following: changes in patterns of health risk; differential impact of economic crisis on the health of more vulnerable social groups; changes in demand for health services, and thus formulate appropriate policy responses and strategies to mitigate the negative impact on health.

Keywords: Health policy, economic crisis.