April 11- 13, 2008
International Programs, University of Iowa
Global Health Studies Students and faculty as well as others with an interest in international affairs
Rationale: Current political debates on health care reform in the US focus primarily on its extraordinary cost and mechanisms to contain such costs. These debates represent a myriad of competing economic and political interests and agendas. Little attention is given to the marked disparities in individual health status or public health across regions, races, and economic status. Even less effort is made to evaluate the relation of health status, if any, to our technologically advanced, yet marginally effective, health care system. Given the significantly better health enjoyed by many populations around the world where health care systems operate with much smaller budgets, an international comparison is urgently needed.
This conference will examine the relationship between health and health care in global perspective including an examination of factors that determine health or illness, and the approaches taken if health is considered a human right versus a commodity to be purchased. Such considerations can help refocus the national debate on more effective and comprehensive approaches to improved health and health care policies for the US.