Poverty, Development, and Health Policy

by B. Abel-Smith, with A. Leiserson. 108 pages. World Health Organization, Geneva, (Public Health Papers No. 69). Sw. fr. 10.—US$5.—. French and Spanish editions in preparation

William BertrandDepartment of Biostatistics and Epidemiology School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine Tulane Medical Center, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112

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As preventive and primary health care becomes a well structured component of the governments of developing nations, health professionals at all levels are faced with the need to understand economists and their concepts. The language of bureaucrats, planners and decision makers comes from the jargon of economists and health professionals who are now directly involved in justifying their actions along these lines.

Professor Brian Abel-Smith and Dr. Alcira Leiserson have done a creditable job in this short (109 pages) volume of introducing some of the key concepts in developmental and health economics to the uninitiated. In the first of the book's two sections, the authors present a rationale for the importance of public health programs in development. The argument is a sound one, and follows current United Nations and World Health Organization thinking on the importance of primary health care and prevention in establishing health for all. Brief presentations on