Saturday, October 24, 2009

Culture Differences in the News 2

Should people be vaccinated against Swine Flu? Apparently culture has something to do with the issue...
In the Netherlands (low Power Distance, high Individualism) only 25% of nurses have agreed to take the vaccine soon to be made available. The overwhelming majority (75%) are suspicious of any "government-led" initiative, according to Radio Netherlands. "“For a start it is very difficult to really protect yourself against flu. Every flu jab targets a certain virus. And there are hundreds going around, so you are not protected at all. The side effects can be really serious. And it seems like there is a lot of panic-spreading going on. It is only the pharmaceutical industry that stands to benefit from it," said Ute.
Nannet van der Geest, company doctor at a Nijmegen hospital, is not keen on compulsory vaccination campaigns like the one in the United States. Instead she believes in providing the medical staff with the right information so they can make their own choices.
These opinions are typical of cultures scoring very high on Individualism and low on Power Distance. People show less dependent behavior and value dissenting opinions.
Meanwhile, in Brazil (high Power Distance, low Individualism) people are complaining that "the Government is not providing enough medicine against Swine Flu and the vaccination campaign is coming too late!" Typical of the Brazilian culture is to consider that it is the Government's responsibility (whether Federal or Regional) to "take care of the population". The vaccination campaign is perceived as "needs to be compulsory, otherwise people will not take the responsibility to be vaccinated. They need to be told!"
Very different approaches are needed to design public health policies...

1 comment:

  1. Dear Sir
    I read the two posts about cultural differences and found them very interesting. Thank you.