An increase in the measured health of an individual or population, including length and quality of life.
Health gain is becoming the principal goal of health services. This is a change from the activities of certain health services in the past, which were concerned principally with the funding and delivery of specific medical care services or facilities without an explicit business goal of improving the impact on health.
It is a new perspective of health service managers to consider investment in other services — beyond medical care — that may have a greater and less costly contribution in achieving health gain for individuals or communities. The economic concept of opportunity cost is a central feature of investment in health gain and can give rise to directing resources to improved housing, poverty relief, education, and water and sanitary services to complement investments in medical care services and to reduce avoidable and preventable death and disease.