Health Satisfaction in Emerging Economies Varies

Of the major emerging markets, only China and India have shown an increase over the past few years with the satisfaction of personal health. Russians are the least satisfied, according to a new survey.

According to a new Gallup poll, it’s important to closely monitor health indicators, such as residents’ perceptions of personal health, in countries that are transitioning from developing to developed economies.

Satisfaction with personal health and the likelihood to report health problems varies among Brazil, Russia, India, China and South America (aka BRICS). For instance, Chinese are the least likely to report health problems and Russians are the most.

Wealth, of course, plays a big role in the satisfaction of personal health. India had the smallest gap between the rich and the poor, and that gap has shrunk significantly over the past three years. Russia and South Africa showed the largest gap between the rich and the poor in 2011.

“The differences in South Africa may reflect the country's relatively high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, which affects nearly 18% of the adult population,” according to Gallup. “Russians' high rate of alcohol consumption, which may affect the poor more heavily, may be the factor influencing personal health differences between the rich and poor in the country.”
The BRICS really have to make sure they are able to provide high-quality, affordable and accessible care as disease burdens change while they make the shift from developing to developed nations.

“Policymakers and health practitioners must carefully consider health system needs and population characteristics to continue to create sustainable economic growth among the entire population,” according to Gallup.
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