Interesting though Brian Hammond’s contribution was (Letters, 27 February ) on who will pay one half of the population to provide care for the other half, it begs an answer to the root cause of the question.
Everyone seems to accept that modern ailments and infirmity in old age are inevitable. They aren’t. Wild animals are rarely ill so why are humans? Most serious ailments are caused by our largely artificial diet, and much infirmity by not fixing them with knowledge that pre-dates our mainstream healthcare.
Why is it that the more we spend, the more people seem to become ill? As always it’s the root cause that needs investigating. We apply problem-solving principles in manufacture to prevent defects, so why not in healthcare? Preventing ailments (promoting health) would cost only a fraction of trying to cure them.
Yet our medical system is not trained how to and has discarded centuries of knowledge in favour of almost exclusive application of exponentially costly drugs and hi-tech (don’t misunderstand me — a few are invaluable).
But a system to promote health, rather than to cure illness, has financial implications. The major health players, especially the pharmaceutical industry, would lose profit and employment on a huge scale if this line were followed.
So who will bite the bullet?