January 13, 2014
Video; what is the Happiest Country on Earth?
• Despite being believed to be less happy, predominantly Socialist countries score
higher in happiness.
o Guaranteed health care
o Work benefits like higher vacation times
Higher per capita incomes
o Bottom Line; better work-social life balance
• China scored less happiness.
o Make a lot less GDP per capita than their European counterparts
o Norway has the highest GDP, however, but are 9 on the list—therefore
money isn’t the only factor
• Good measuring scale of happiness being used as both quantitative and
qualitative measures are used
o Pain scale;
To comparatively gauge who needs more help at a clinic
To see what kind of medication to provide
Valid way of tracking information on people, despite subjective
differences among individuals
• Health disparities exist between rich-poor nations
o Within rich nations, the gap between rich and poor can be great
o There are nations within nations that may be dealing with extreme health
disparities (ie. Aboriginals)
• Small increases in per capita income (up to $5000 US) tend to be associated
with substantial gains in health
• Top 20% saw net income increase by 43% from 1984-1999
o People being paid more to do the same things o Cost of living has also increased, however, thus not making us any
• Bottom 20% saw net income decrease by 51% in the same period
• Development perspective of health
o Development policy should focus on maximizing the rate of economic
growth in the expectation of “trickle down”
However, some countries may ignore human rights or vulnerable
groups while experiencing high levels of economic growth
Doesn’t increase health in some situations, as government may still
not provide adequate health services and populations may
consume unhealthy, “Americanized” goods
Disparity may still exist despite “perceived equity”
• Ie. Even if all children begin going to school, private-run
institutions emerge that offer better standards of education to
those that can afford it in countries like India.
• In some situation, countries with universal education rates
experienced higher levels of unemployment.
o Over-qualification for jobs available, yet not qualified
enough for administrative jobs etc.
• Quality of life; an essentially subjective judgment of the way people perceive
themselves as content and happy or otherwise and able to function physically,
emotionally, and socially. Affected individual is the ultimate judge.
o Social determinants such as social status, gender, social
supports/community supports etc.
o Aspirations, goals
o Access to social services
o How time is spent; ie. Productive role, leisure time, etc.
o Policy-level issues and government infrastructure, more mentioned in
• Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL)
o Medical Outcomes of Study Short-form is a survey of 36 questions that as
about functional health, access to community resources,