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Putting Disease-Prevention before Health Insurance

Sapna Desai’s commentary “Keeping the ‘Health’ in Health Insurance” (epw, 19 September 2009) is insightful and timely. It focuses on public health, the missing element in India’s health system.

Modern medicine advanced on two fronts, public health and healthcare. Both use tools of science and technology to remove risk factors of diseases (public health) and to restore health when ill (healthcare). Rich countries prevent what they can and treat what they cannot, thus reducing spending on treating preventable diseases.

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