Researchers analyzed political, economic and population health data from 170 countries over 46 years – 1970 to 2016. They concluded that as levels of democracy increased, governments spent more on health, irrespective of their country’s economic situation.
“The results of this study suggest that elections and the health of the people are increasingly inseparable,”
Said study leader Thomas Bollyky, of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations.
“Without the same pressure or validation from voters or foreign aid agencies, autocratic leaders have less incentive than their democratic counterparts to finance the more expensive prevention and treatment of heart diseases, cancers and other chronic illnesses,” he added.
The researchers concluded that democracy supported by regular free and fair elections not only increases health but potentially reduces deaths from several noncommunicable diseases and traffic injuries.
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