In both rich and poor nations, public resources for health care are inadequate to meet demand. Policy makers and health care providers must determine how to provide the most effective health care to citizens using the limited resources that are available. This chapter describes current and future challenges in the delivery of health care, and outlines the role that operations research (OR) models can play in helping to solve those problems. The chapter concludes with an overview of this book - its intended audience, the areas covered, and a description of the subsequent chapters. KEY WORDS Health care delivery, Health care planning HEALTH CARE DELIVERY: PROBLEMS AND CHALLENGES 3 1.1 WORLDWIDE HEALTH: THE PAST 50 YEARS Human health has improved significantly in the last 50 years. In 1950, global life expectancy was 46 years . That figure rose to 61 years by 1980 and to 67 years by 1998 . Much of these gains occurred in low- and middle-income countries, and were due in large part to improved nutrition and sanitation, medical innovations, and improvements in public health infrastructure.
comprehensively up to date. We are most grateful to these authors and to those we recruited to write the additional chapters necessary to fill the significant gaps. We acknowledge also the sacrifice of some who presented results of original research and have thus suffered a longer time than usual to publication. The timing of publication however has provided the opportunity to highlight recent discussions and resolutions made within the Antarctic Treaty forum to protect wildlife against disease and to include responses by Government and non-Government operators in Antarctica. These developments mostly followed from the Workshop on Diseases of Antarctic Wildlife. The book comprises 17 chapters presented in two parts. Wildlife disease consists of reviews, case studies and health assessments, and External factors covers the environmental, administrative and legal aspects. Each chapter is complete and c- tains all references. Six important documents are provided as Appendices. These present methods, reviews and other documents which are referred to in one or more chapters but are not readily available. There are many related topics we have been unable to cover that would enhance the understanding of health and disease processes in Antarctica. While we ackno- edge their importance they are outside the scope of the present volume. Such topics include epidemiology, new and emerging infectious diseases and the effects of climate change. These topics are referred to in the various chapters where ref- ences to source material are given.
In clear, easy-to-grasp language, the author covers many of the topics that you will need to know in order to win your dream job and be the first in line for a promotion.
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