Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Health costs

Deep fried turds or deep fried Mars Bars, you decide! "Scotland is sitting on an "obesity time bomb" which could cost the economy £3bn a year, according to a new government report.", says the BBC.

And Scotland is not the only place where folk are getting fatter, of course (thought a staple diet that has included Deep-fried Mars Bars won't have helped), but that's not why I brought this up.

Something that I've noticed on many occasions recently (or, at least it has recently been jumping out at me), is that whenever the media reports health matters, it's always tied in with a statement about how much the problem will cost the economy. And they must know that doing so stirs people up.

Whist as a former accountant and student of economics, I know this to be true: that there is always an opportunity cost, I cannot help getting the feeling that cost is all that matters now.

The way that the genuinely sick have to fight for and are denied help nowadays bears this out.

Gone are compassion and empathy for those "less fortunate" or "unable to help themselves" (through illness and / or disability). Nowadays we are just seen as liabilities, unproductive members of society, second-class citizens, or an economic cost to be cut.

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