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It is estimated that the global community currently provides roughly $2 billion per year to health in the poorest countries. For the poorest economies, spending does appear to make a difference. Gro Harlem Bruntland, Director General of the World Health Organization, believes that “health has a central role in the world economy. Yet, few finance officials and development economists have so far explored the potential importance of health investment as an instrument for reducing poverty” (Ivinson551). Improved health is potentially advantageous to poor economies. Increased life expectancy can lead to increased productivity and economic stability for many poor families, assuming that opportunities for work and education are readily available. However, in some of the poorest economies, opportunity for increased income from work is very limited. In some areas, basic infrastructure such as roads, utilities and means for production does not exist. Often political corruption prevents those who are healthy and physically able to work for many years from realizing their true income potential. Even relocation to areas with more work opportunities are difficult with limited income and few safe roads. In those areas, it is a combination of increased spending on health care, increased development of infrastructure and acitivities which remove or reduce corruption that must take place simultaneously for the poorest economies to benefit overall. Improved health care alone will not bring about much change in economic conditions.
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