Finding evidence to support the 'bleedin' obvious'

Abdool Kara asks why such a small proportion of health money is devoted to preventative activities. 'It can only be because the Department of Health or HM Treasury are not convinced by the evidence.'

Some things are just counter-intuitive. For example, the way to maintain control when downhill skiing is to lean forward into the slope, which just feels weird at first. Or, as we found with our new puppy Nico this summer, the best way to recall a dog that is running away from you is to run away from it – works like a treat! Nonetheless, as humans we have learned to mostly trust our intuition, which has been pretty successful for two and a half million years – we're still here after all.

In public services, there is a strong intuition that spending money on prevention is better than spending money on treatment and cure. This seems logical enough – an early intervention at the pre-acute stage prevents many weeks, months or even years of chronic support down the track.

Abdool Kara

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