Global Public Health “Wish List”

While U.S. politicians wrangle over who is offering the best plan to provide health coverage to all Americans, a Gallup poll released early this fall offered a dozen separate ways to expand health insurance coverage and each suggestion garnered majority support. We said we wanted it all: tax breaks for small businesses, large companies to be required to offer health coverage and federal subsidies for the poor. That certainly narrows it down.

In the midst of this debate and in the spirit of the season, it is worth noting a report issued today by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Pew Global Attitudes Project that surveyed 47 countries to examine global perceptions of health problems, priorities and donors.

According to the report, here are the top items on the public health “wish lists” from around the world:

Public Health Priorities in Low and Middle Income Countries: Preventing and treating HIV/AIDS is the top-rated health priority in the countries surveyed in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Fighting hunger and malnutrition is the top priority among countries surveyed in Latin America and the Middle East. Crime is the top issue among countries surveyed in Latin America and Asia. Political corruption leads in Central Europe, while terrorism is number one in the Middle East. Among countries in Western Europe, pollution ranks highest top priority in Central/Eastern Europe.

While reviewing this list does not solve the real health issues we face in this country it does help to put some perspective on the matter.

The entire report can be downloaded here: A Global Look at Public Perceptions of Health Problems, Priorities, and Donors: The Kaiser/Pew Global Health Survey.

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