People are living longer, certainly, but more and more people are also developing a chronic illness at some point in their lives. This affects their quality of life, but also their participation in society, their relationship with the world of work, and their care costs. Socio-economic health disparities are already serious, and may get worse. It is therefore vital that health professionals devote more attention to prevention: to the promotion and protection of health and to the prevention of disease.
Policy, practice, research, education and training will all play a part. With regard to prevention, professionals in public health work alongside local authorities, health insurers and other social health care organisations, in schools, in district centres and in the workplace – by, for instance, exerting an influence on environment and behaviour, advising on sport, screening for and tackling infectious disease, and promoting participation in school and work and activities in neighborhoods.
An increase in excise taxes of 50 per cent over a period of fifty years will result in societal benefits of 14 to 20 billion euro in the Netherlands. Improvement of work productivity, prevention of premature deaths, fewer traffic accidents, less police and justice costs and less school drop-outs are examples of the positive effects if alcohol consumption would be reduced. These are the findings of research conducted by RIVM.More
ZonMw has several programmes related to this topic.