Is austerity becoming a health issue?

A study published earlier this month in the American Journal of Public Health sought to examine the little-understood impact of austerity policies on the medical conditions of citizens in Greece.

A team of scientists and researches from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and the University of New Mexico pored over public records from the past several years and noticed several startling trends that suggest that austerity may be driving suicide and murder rates in the Mediterranean nation. 

According to the publication, during the time between 2007 and 2009, instances of suicide rose by 22.7 percent. Similarly, homicide occurrences jumped 27.6 percent in the same period. The authors of the study also pointed out that it was at this juncture that the Greek Ministry of Health began cutting back on outreach services, which ended up falling by 23.7 percent between 2009 and 2011.

The principal investigator behind the report, Dr. Elias Kondilis, said in a press statement that the conclusions reached during the project were "much worse than we imagined."

Dr. Howard Waitzkin, an American sociology professor emeritus who contributed to the study, added that this impact could be felt in the United States if austerity is implemented in federal and state budgets more extensively than it is now. 

"The policies of cutbacks currently proposed in the United States for Medicare and Social Security will lead to similar devastating effects on health services and outcomes. Instead of austerity policies, we need increased public sector spending to stimulate our failing economy and to protect the health of our people," he said. 

This report suggests that there may be some unintended consequences of misguided government cost-cutting measures. Investors may want to note the potential economic effects of declining public health and act accordingly. To learn more about effective wealth preservation methods, download our "Free Game Plan Report" today.