Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sick Days

Do we get enough here in the United States? I wonder what the contribution to public health would look like if we made it unacceptable to show up to work or school ill. In the beginning this approach would increase absenteeism but, in the long run, it might reduce the spread of diseases across the population very effectively.

The issue is more that we have no mechanisms for verifying that people are actually ill (and herding them into an MDs office isn't an ideal solution as it pools all of the ill people together to infect older and sicker patients there for other health concerns). Add in a cultural dislike of reasonable accommodation and it is not surprising that people comply with the incentives to show up to work or school ill.

Don;t you wish that there was a better way?

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