Governments role in public health is important, Some people believe governments are responsible for improving individual health. To what extent do you agree?
Governments play a major role in keeping the public healthy. They are largely responsible for the general health conditions of their citizens. A clean environment and health policy is necessary to maintain the health of the general population. Individual health is entirely a personal matter and governments can’t play a big role in improving it. If an individual has unhealthy habits, there is little that a government could do.
Although a government can provide facilities for the individual to stay healthy, it is up to the individual to choose a healthy lifestyle. Sports facilities, parks and open spaces where people can exercise are important to improve both public health and individual health too. In countries with less pollution and good amount of facilities, it is easier for an individual to have access to healthy activities. The government could ban smoking and sale of tobacco products, this could improve an individual’s health. Health awareness campaigns can also run to encourage healthy practices. The outbreak and spread of EBOLA virus in west Africa is an example of how governments could endanger their people with poor public health policies. Although the governments are not responsible for outbreak of diseases which can affect individual health, they are surely responsible for providing adequate medical facilities which could prevent spreading of diseases. Government’s limited role in individual health is still significant.
On the whole, individual health is a personal matter over which governments have limited influence. Governments can choose to play a greater role in improving health at an individual level.