GOOD HEALTH: How Can You Fix Something You Can’t Define?

Today I decided to research the “healthiest” country in the world.  According to 24/7 Wall St.’s health rankings, Qatar (country located in the middle east) was ranked the healthiest country in the world. I found it interesting that the basic parameters used to determine the healthiest country came down to 4 subcategories: (1) Life Expectancy, (2) Infant mortality rate, (3) Health expenditure per capita, (4) Unemployment rate.
Let’s look at each component briefly:
(1) After reading this article, I realized we don’t have a universal definition of the term “good health”. According to the article, a long life expectancy was a defining parameter of good health. Technology today has certainly helped increase the longevity of living, but is this a real measure of good health? Is a person being kept alive on life support considered in “good health” if this technology kept them alive beyond an average life expectancy?
(2) The article also mentioned that, “Qatar took steps to protect its citizens from diseases with 99% of children receiving the DPT and measles vaccines.” Their infant mortality rate ranked 7th in the world.  The United States has a vaccine compliance rate exceeding 95% with substantially more vaccines provided yet ranked 169th in infant mortality rates. Regardless of opinions on vaccines, the infant mortality rates are factual numbers. Should infant mortality rates be included in determining the “good health” of a country?
(3) The third factor was per capita spending. The article reported that there were 7.7 physicians per 1000 people in Qatar. It certainly makes sense that increased ratios of doctors to patients regarding emergency disease care would prevent more people from dying, but would that mean stabilizing and maintaining chronic disease is a measure of “good health?” Qatar spent $2,029 per person (25th highest in the world). Does increased medical expenditure correlate with “good health?” The United States spent the most per capita ($8,895 per person) yet was ranked worse than 33 other nations.
(4) The final measurement was unemployment. Qatar had the second lowest unemployment rate at just 0.5%. In the United States, the unemployment rate dropped from 10+% to 5+% during the Obama administration. Millions of Americans were able to return to the workforce yet the health status of our citizens had not shown any statistical improvement as a result of increased employment.
In looking at all the parameters, the conclusions reached seem questionable. It should also be noted that Qatar had the second highest obesity rate in the world. Since obesity has been classified a disease, how can this country be ranked as the “healthiest country in the world when it ranked 2nd in the world in obesity?
In my opinion, Good Health should be defined as:

“a quality of life achieved by sustaining balance among physical, nutritional, emotional and spiritual needs.”

This definition places the responsibility of good health on each of us. It should be the role of professional healthcare providers to educate the public and assist in times of distress, rather than seen as the “providers of health.”
Statistics will never create “good health.” Good health” will ONLY BE ACHIEVED when each of us is willing to focus on our comprehensive needs in life. Most people wait for advanced diseases before implementing these changes. The healthcare model relies on this attitude.
If you are willing to accept my definition of “Good Health”,  
what changes have you made (or are you willing to make) in your life to achieve GOOD HEALTH! 

SIDE NOTE: Please don’t forget to read and SIGN the following petition highlighted in BLUE (if you agree with it) if you haven’t already done so. It doesn’t matter what country you reside in. Everyone will benefit as a result. Thank you.

Healthcare Coverage by Major News Media

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6 comments

  1. You do have to look at in context though. The population of Qatar is very small compared to the USA and it is one of the richest countries in the world because of its oil and gas deposits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are absolutely correct regarding the size and wealth of Qatar. The intent of this article was to show the parameters our society uses to measure “Good Health.” It does not take into account the individuals role and responsibility. It bases our “good health” on what others (for example: doctors) achieve for us. It makes it appear that “good health” is a result of resources rather than lifestyle. I spent many years as a doctor helping empower my patients. It required time and patience (excuse the pun), but it was time well spent. When people realize their PARTICIPATION is essential in a healthy outcome results significantly improve. Regardless of the health malady, treating a patient rather than a disease always creates a winning outcome.
      Thank you so much for your feedback. I have learned more from the reader’s comments than I ever realized I would. Looking forward to reading your future blogs as well!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I totally agree that a person has to want to get well and stay well and cannot rely on others to wave a magic wand for them.
        I was wondering what your opinion is of Health Professionals that are too busy helping other people get well, without looking after themselves first. I see too many of them overweight and unfit.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I do not understand how a healthcare professional can counsel their patients/clients on weight management and its consequences without following their own advice. In my opinion a healthcare provider has a responsibility to practice (in general) a healthy lifestyle. Those without self commitment can rarely successfully commit themselves to others. These type of professionals are more likely “doing a job” than offering a qualitative service.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I am tweaking my program all the time with good health in mind. I agree with your definition of GH here and wish the US government would stop trying to be our health guru. Education, yes. Restrictive oversight of our care and relationship with our doctors, no. Its not the best use of their resources. Besides, I don’t want this administration ordering or restricting my health care options. Guess that boat has sailed, though. Too bad.

    Question: Are the number of abortions performed in this country and others a part of those infant mortality rates reported? I bet not. Adding those in, our infant mortality rates in this country have to be huge and in my opinion, deplorable. Just saying….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wrote this article to provide insight into how the statisticians in this world view “Good Health.” I found it interesting that:
      (1) Emotions
      (2) Physical limitations
      (3) Ability to achieve and maintain balance in life
      (4) Levels of happiness and fulfillment
      were not taken into account when determining what factors measured “Good Health.” It is my opinion that each of us needs to take 1 step backward to objectively evaluate our paths in life and determine if a course correction is needed. “Good Health” is the END RESULT experienced (in most cases) by those ACTIVELY pursuing it. Most people take it for granted and are disillusioned when it passes them by.

      As for the infant mortality rate, these numbers do not reflect abortions.

      Liked by 1 person

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