Thursday, September 2, 2010

Defence spending vs. healthcare/medical spending

On the nights of 30th and 31st August, 2010, I spent a few hours at the Apollo hospital in Ludhiana, as a close relative who, unfortunately, is gravely ill, is admitted there.

I've been to hospitals many times, and a thought that invariably comes to my mind whenever I'm inside a hospital is that it's very, very important to make disproportionately large investments to enable research that leads humans to advancements in health-related diagnosis and treatment.

So when I read statements such as these:

"Even in an age of austerity America still towers above all-comers in military power, as well it should given its annual defence spending of $700 billion, almost as much as the rest of the world put together..." - After Iraq, The Economist, Aug'10

I feel sad. The world needs to spend the most on issues that help us all, and less on human-obliterating bombspain rays and other "futuristic" weapons.


  1. ya...totally agree.

    God Bless...!

  2. Update (5-Sep-10): The relative in question is on life-support now. I've been fascinated, if that's the right word to use, about "life processes" and "life support systems" ever since I was in class 7. Today I saw a relative on life-support, in the ICU of the Apollo hospital, Ludhiana. The isolated facility had multiple LCD screens flashing the critically-ill patient's vital body parameters, and was abuzz with repeated ominous beeps. It was the first time I saw an ICU from the inside, and the first time I saw a human being on life-support.

    A strange feeling dawned on me. I thought, these machines and systems are designed to hold "life" - whatever it is - inside the human body.

    It was overwhelming.

  3. Update 2 (5-Sep-10): I remember when I was flying from South Africa to Dubai for the first time, I had thought something similar. It was a dark night, and the plane was cruising smoothly thousands of feet above the earth's surface. I thought, it looks like - with snacks, food and drinks being served - a party is going on inside this aircraft, but most of us don't bother to think that essentially, we're all inside a life-support system. This aircraft, a pressurized chamber, is protecting us from the inhospitable conditions outside.

  4. Update 3 (16-Sep-10): Life left the body of my relative. It's sad, but it's true. He lost this battle. He lost this battle at a time when we all, after having lost hope, had started to hope again. It's about to be 7 AM. I'm sad.