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Global Occupational Health$
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Tee L. Guidotti

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195380002

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195380002.001.0001

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Occupational Health and Economic Development

Occupational Health and Economic Development

Chapter:
(p.486) 25 Occupational Health and Economic Development
Source:
Global Occupational Health
Author(s):

Tee L. Guidotti

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195380002.003.0025

All countries are developing countries because today every country is undergoing an economic transition. Less developed countries or “developing” countries (in the usual use of the term) may become “developed” countries, in the sense that industrialization contributes more economic value than agriculture. However, many industrialized countries are undergoing a transition to a “postmodern” economy, in which manufacturing contributes less value than information and services. A few countries are losing ground in income and creation of wealth and in that sense are “de-developing”. Occupational health tends to be left out of plans and strategies for development. This is a mistake because occupational health can contribute a great deal to economic progress by providing family income security, protecting the most economically productive segment of the population, reducing the cumulative burden of disability, making health gains at a time when costs are low, and promoting equity in the workplace. In many countries, occupational health, with extensions of care to dependents, in the form of a social security health system has been the foundation for health care and social security as the economy develops. The World Health Organization advocates integration of a package of “Basic Occupational Health Services” into the primary health care system as countries develop. Occupational health is typically viewed as a consumptive expense, one that consumes resources but does not provide a tangible return. A better way to think of occupational health is as an investment, which pays off in worker health and fitness, lower costs for medical care, greater productivity and social well being.

Keywords:   occupational health, income security, health care, social security, economic development, World Health Organization, Basic Occupational Health Services, productivity, primary health care

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