An interesting story coming on this front from Word of Health by Ambika Vartak:
Recent research from The Lancet has demonstrated that democratic governments have a positive impact on health. Democratic countries had a higher life expectancy in a sample of residents that were HIV free, compared to autocracies, and these countries had lower rates of non-communicable diseases such as heart disease and stroke.
To ascertain if democratic countries had better health outcomes for citizens, researchers calculated the “democratic experience” for each country. This means that democratic countries must have free and fair elections. Factors such as GDP and urban development were some of the variables that were controlled for since they did not wholly constitute the “democratic experience.” The study found out that democratic experience played a significant role in reducing death rates, CVD, cancer, tuberculosis, and other non-communicable diseases.
While public health improvements have occurred in non-democratic areas, these were possible mainly because of aid programs that have targeted diseases, including the plague. Lower-income countries are making headway on their health-related technology. Interventions such as antimalarial beds have worked. However, with time, these countries will need to advance their healthcare systems to combat more prevalent diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Also, non-communicable diseases are least targeted for aid, leading to 58% of deaths and disabilities in low-income countries.
See full story here.