IF NOT WHO THEN WHO?
And then we have the perennial issue of if WHO won't do it then who will? Well, this is most certainly a trick question. In our current (socialistic) political environment there is a great tendency for governments to take over everything. By so doing they are actually preventing wealth creation and in so doing reducing profitable business opportunities… which leads to poor people in terrible health conditions. The solution is not for governments to spend more or to create more WHO-like organizations, but to let free markets operate. Most of the so-called orphan health problems WHO deals with (i.e. problems that are not profitable) are related to poverty and therefore lack of sanitation and as such the only solution is to increase the wealth of those people, not to give them medical assistance.
Medical assistance is a one-time deal. Programs appear and disappear. They treat one problem at the time. Meanwhile there is a universe of health problems that persist. These problems are not going away. Consider for example the program to tackle Lymphatic filariasis which is a horrible disease also known as "elephantiasis". While the WHO is treating this problem, do you believe that somehow magically all those people will have reasonable shelter, water, food, education and access to basic medical care to look after cancer or heart disease o arteriosclerosis or COPD or any of the "other" normal diseases we all get? Of course not! Don’t be ridiculous. The only way forward is to increase their wealth levels and for that we absolutely, positively, definitively need free markets.
And now going back to the question, if WHO won't do it who will? The free market! It will do it faster, simpler and infinitely more effectively than any government organization. This is so because as wealth rises new business opportunities appear where there were none before. Suddenly people can afford decent health care which is what they could not do before. And when this becomes possible, there will be a company supplying this service. The issue is not what else WHO can do, the issue is what else governments are doing to prevent us from becoming wealthier thus solving our health problems for ourselves.
For any intent and purpose WHO's budget is about 2 billion USD per year of taxing, borrowing and printing money. And what do we get for that money? It's easy if we list what we don't get first:
- (Meaningful) Leadership
- (Extensive) Research
- (Extensive) Standards
- (Meaningful) Policies
- (Meaningful) Technical support
- (Meaningful) Change
- (Meaningful) Capacity
What we do get is:
- Monitoring (some)
- Partnerships (some)
In other words, for the low, low price of only 2 billion USD/year we get some Monitoring and some Partnerships in health issues. And… for how long has this been going on? 66 years? For how much longer do we need to suffer through this? Are we there yet?
From where we sit and based on the above information the WHO is essentially an organization by bureaucrats for bureaucrats. And the final question is: how do we get a job with them?
The WHO is nothing but a typical government organization that continues to grow and grow and whose cost/benefit analysis has turned negative long time ago. Although it is true that it provides some useful services and those services have saved lives and continue to save lives, those services are horrifically expensive considering its expenditures as a whole. This is a typical pattern for a government organization. No surprises here.
The main issue is a simple one: wealth. Should governments had allowed for free markets to operate, most of the "policy recommendations" and "issues" that the WHO is occupied with would have been resolved long time ago. The cost of medical care would have dropped significantly instead of skyrocketing. People would have been substantially wealthier (world-wide) which would have brought sanitation (as a minimum) and proper and extensive health care as a maximum.
Unless you believe otherwise… because… you were probably helped directly by the WHO… no intermediaries… no partners… right?
Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.