Health and economic development are tightly interlinked

The health and social well-being of the populations of the Baltic Sea region have significant effects on the economy and related progress. The main impacts include a direct effect on the fiscal positions of the governments of the region and indirect effects through education, labor markets, and social stability. Investments in public health, including actions to limit tobacco consumption, reduce non-communicable diseases, and improve mental health, have high returns in the countries of the Baltic Sea region.

These conclusions have been drawn in the new report “The Importance of Health and Social well-being for the Economy and Other Policy Areas” that was commissioned and published by the Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being (NDPHS) Secretariat.

The report provides an overview of the importance of health and social well-being for economic and related progress with a geographic focus on the Baltic Sea region. It specifically addresses three main sets of issues: 1) the direct and indirect costs associated with ill health taking into account some key trends and processes, 2) the impact of poor health and unfavorable social background on economic progress, and 3) examples of health policies and their impact on the economy. It is based on a review of a selection of the existing evidence and data on these issues and on consultations with the NDPHS Secretariat and its broader network of experts.

The report is compiled by Mr. Björn Ekman, who is a former World Bank economist, a renowned health economics researcher with more than 20 years of experience and a lecturer at the Lund University, Sweden.

More information and a link for downloading the study are available from the NDPHS Database.