Health policy approaches to population health: The limits of medicalization
Response or Comment
volume 26, Issue 5
Health Status Disparities; Health Care Disparities; Social Welfare; Sociology, Medical--trends; Vulnerable Populations--classification; Health Care Costs
Because of a strong tendency to "medicalize" health status problems and to assume that their primary solution involves medical care, policymakers often focus on increased financial and geographic access to personal health services in policies aimed at populations that are vulnerable to poor health. This approach has produced real public health gains, but it has neglected key social and economic causes of health vulnerability and disparities. Although access to care is a necessary component of population health, concerted policy action in income security, education, housing, nutrition/food security, and the environment is also critical in efforts to improve health among socially disadvantaged populations.
Lantz, P.M., Lichtenstein, R.L., Pollack, H.A. (2007). Health policy approaches to population health: the limits of medicalization. Health Affairs, 26(5), 1253-1257.