Link Between Health and Wealth

It is observed that wealthy people are much more satisfied with their lives than the poor. The question which arises here is why? One of the possible answers for this question is the difference between the health of the rich and the poor. Wealthier nations tend to be healthier and have a better life expectancy rate than the poorer nations. There could be several thesis statements that link wealth with physical health. Firstly, the problem of primary health care issues has been tackled in developed nations due to which there are better health care facilities available which differs the health issues from the poorer.

Poor nations still suffer from very basic illness like malaria and diarrhoea which are mainly caused by contaminated water as stated in Pakenham (2004 Pg42). “It is believed; about 80 per cent of all illness is the result of contaminated water and inadequate sanitation”. The diseases in wealthy nations are considered incurable such as cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and cancer. The Wealthy people have many choices to keep themselves safe from the basic illness, for example, the availability of proper vaccines and medicines.

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Rich can go to fitness clubs and burn any excessive calories and fats, whereas poor even lack the knowledge of these terms. Better awareness programmes have somewhat controlled the issue of HIV and AIDS in wealthier nations, while on the other hand, this issue is rapidly rising in developing countries as they do not have enough funds to conduct awareness programmes. Reflected in Pakenham (2004 Pg45). “By 2003, an estimated 38 million people in developing countries were living with HIV/AIDS, 90% of all global infections”. Secondly, the costs of treatments of major illnesses have a direct impact on one’s health.

For example, in developing countries, there are many hospitals that provide health care for major illnesses like cardiovascular diseases and cancer similar to developed nations, but the charges are beyond the reach of an ordinary person. The culture of these medical centres is highly influenced by western traditions and the treatments are carried out in almost similar manner “developing countries clearly have inherited the Western tendency to give priority to treating disease after it has developed” Pakenham (2004 Pg45). Therefore, better medical care facilities mean better physical health.

However, there are some arguments that work against the link between wealth and good physical health. First of all, diabetes is a fundamental disease found in both rich and the poor. A person, whether rich or poor, cannot prevent this disease, and the treatment for such diseases is similar for both. Moreover, developing countries are now working against some basic diseases like polio by providing same vaccines to everyone: “A number of developing countries have already shown that primary health care programmes can be successful.

Cuba eliminated polio in 1972, even before the disease was eliminated in the United States. ” Pakenham(2004 Pg47). Although with some exceptions, the arguments in favour of the link between wealth and health explains that in today’s world, rich people tend to live healthier and longer as they have more money to spend on better health care, poor people are still lacking the resources to fight even basic illnesses.

In conclusion, it would not be wrong to say that there is a strong connection between wealth and physical health. Reference: Pakenham, K. J(2004). Making Connections. High Intermediate Second Edition. New York. Cambridge University Press. INTO City University London How are wealth and physical health linked? Name: Muhammad Furqan Khalid (FQ) Student Number: 0080025763 Course Title: Foundation Business Economics with Accounting Group: FB2C Teacher’s Name: Julian Ridler Date: 30th November 2011

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Link Between Health and Wealth. (2016, Dec 09). Retrieved from