You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Prevention is better than cure. Out of a country’s health budget, a large proportion should be diverted from treatment to spending on health education and preventative measures.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
You should write at least 250 words.
You should use your own ideas, knowledge and experience and support your arguments with examples and relevant evidence.
Model Essay 1: (Agreement)
Every day, people are dying from various health-related complexities and diseases due to the lack of proper health education and preventive actions. In many cases, those are preventable diseases. This is why the government should allocate a sum of money from the health budget for health education and preventive measures. I believe that it would offer a substantial number of benefits, and this essay will prove it by analysing the economic point of view of a country and the health aspects of people.
To commence with, many nations spend an enormous amount of money to treat their citizens who are already sick. This staggering cost would reduce if the state commences effective healthcare education by spending money on the health teaching system. As an example, if the administration explains to their citizens that smoking and drinking are so bad for humans through this educational programme, many people will end up quitting the bad habits. As can be clearly seen from this illustration, the idea may bring colossal economic benefit to the government.
Secondly, many governments treat patients with several serious diseases like diabetes and heart diseases, and it takes up a large portion of the healthcare budget. However, before these health problems assault citizens, some preventive measures can prevent them. For example, exercise, sports, and proper diet plans can decrease the chances of such diseases to a great extent. Building parks and playgrounds can influence people to do exercise more often which can protect people from developing these diseases. This can be achieved by investing in preventive measures.
In conclusion, the government should spend money on health education and preventive measures from the health budget because it helps prevent such diseases to become widespread while also reducing the cost of treating sick people.
[ Written by – Ayub Ali ]
Model Answer 2: (Agreement)
It goes without saying that prevention is better than cure. That is why, in recent years, there has been a growing body of opinion in favour of putting more resources into health education and preventive measures. The argument is that ignorance of, for example, basic hygiene or the dangers of an unhealthy diet or lifestyle needs to be combated by special nationwide publicity campaigns, as well as longer-term health education.
Obviously, there is a strong human argument for catching any medical condition as early as possible. There is also an economic argument for doing so. Statistics demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of treating a condition in the early stages, rather than delaying until more expensive and prolonged treatment is necessary. Then there are social or economic costs, perhaps in terms of loss of earnings for the family concerned or unemployed benefit paid by the state.
So far so good, but the difficulties start when we try to define what the ‘proportion’ of the budget “should be, particularly if the funds will be ‘diverted from treatment’. Decisions on exactly how much of the total health budget should be spent in this way ‘ are not a matter for the non-specialist, but should be made on the basis of an accepted health service model.
This is the point at which real problems occur – the formulation of the model. How do we accurately measure which health education campaigns are effective in both medical and financial terms? How do we agree about the medical efficacy of various screening programmes, for example, when the medical establishment itself does not agree? A very rigorous process of evaluation is called for so that we can make an informed decision.
Model Answer 3: (Disagreement)
Present a written argument or case to an educated reader with no specialist knowledge of the following topic.
“Prevention is better than cure.” Out of a country’s health budget, a large proportion should be diverted from treatment to spending on health education and preventative measures.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
Sample Answer: [Disagreement]
A government has various responsibilities to its citizens, and perhaps the most important of them all is ensuring proper “health care”. There are different approaches to this, namely “prevention” versus “cure”. This essay will explain why the treatment of patients is superior, using the case of tobacco as a clear example.
Firstly, health education has its limit and is not always effective. Over the last four decades, various Western governments have attempted to discourage smokers by placing surgeon’s warnings and revolting pictures and through different awareness campaigns. Yet smokers want to light up. Therefore, it seriously questions the government’s endeavours of prevention rather than cure. Nevertheless, through the same period cancer treatment has improved considerably even producing beneficial spin-off discoveries for asthma patients. So, treatment is not only more effective but also has other benefits for the people in a society.
Secondly, even if prevention has solid evidence of being effective, there is the common cases of patients suffering by pure chance. For example, some people can suffer from lung cancer who have never been a smoker whereas people smoking a pack a day can escape such illness. Therefore, even having followed the government’s guidance, there would still be a need for treatment. In addition, if the fund is diverted from research for cures to education, there would be little to help those ‘chance victims’.
To conclude, the prevention of diseases has failed considerably in many cases whereas proper treatment can help many patients to recover. This is why diverting budgets for health education or preventive measures is not a prudent idea.
[Written by – Ram]