According to the World Health Organisation fact sheet, over 930 million people in the world spend over 10% of their household budgets to cover healthcare expenses. That is a damning stat and further proof of why robust universal healthcare should be treated as a fundamental human right. Some countries have done a lot on their part in an effort to provide some form of health care coverage, but many are still lagging behind. The following are reasons why universal healthcare for all is necessary.
It Is Attainable
Most governments around the world are never open to the idea of a universal health care plan for their citizens as the government is invested heavily in the healthcare system as a supplier. Breaking that ring down will mean a loss of significant revenue that they get from overpricing drugs and healthcare. The fact that each nation on earth has a vast military budget is proof that universal healthcare is attainable and should be enforced by all governments for the benefit of the people.
It Will Improve Health
A comprehensive universal healthcare plan will help people use the money that would otherwise have been drained by medical bills on other things that will improve their health generally. They can now be able to afford better food, better living conditions, which ultimately will improve their outlook on life and their health. They will have the purchasing power to buy health devices like a PulseWave blood pressure monitor that they can use to keep track of their blood pressure. All these will combine to make life more liveable with fewer visits to the hospitals.
It Can Put a Stop to Dangerous Diseases
The prohibitive costs of treating diseases like cancer kill more people than the diseases itself. The cost of a single chemotherapy session in many countries, for instance, is way too high for many patients to afford. Most are forced into poverty through a disease that eventually kills them. With universal healthcare, however, this would not be the case. Treating these killer diseases would be almost free for most and will involve better drugs and treatment procedures that will increase their chances of survival.
Healthcare is a Right
The privatization of health by capitalist conglomerates has contributed to the deterioration of health care in many places around the world. They are the main forces that lobby governments into not instituting a universal healthcare plan. The WHO constitution affirms that attaining the best healthcare is every person’s basic right as a human, and it should be accorded to them without any string attached. Most countries have incorporated that affirmation in their own constitutions, but most never really follow through with it, and that is a violation of human rights.
It Transforms Communities
A healthy community translates into a healthy nation, which further means that there is a constant supply of reliable labor that drives the economy. Every dollar invested in a comprehensive healthcare plan has a ten-fold return in the next ten years. The money that could have been spent on an unattainable health care plan can now be redirected to education, for instance. That child can grow up to become a dependable member of the society who, in turn, betters the world in their own way. Universal health care is an investment that never fails to return a profit.
What Universal Health Care is Not
People misinterpret the true meaning of universal health care. Many equate it to a free plan that allows them to be treated free of charge anytime they want. Here are some clarifications on what UHC is not.
- UHC does not in any way mean that the coverage for all treatment is free. There is no single government on earth that can sustain that on a regular basis since it is a very costly affair.
- UHC is more than financing health. It involves the improvement of all the factors that make treatment possible; from the service delivery systems, infrastructure, hiring the necessary workforce, improving the communication channels and funding research as well as getting the necessary technologies. It is governance.
- UHC does not just focus on individual needs; it goes beyond that and encompasses the needs of the community through public health campaigns like improving water sanitation, distributing mosquito nets in infested areas, conducting general cleanliness to keep out diseases like cholera. A community is as healthy as its weakest individual.
- UHC is more than just focusing on what goes on inside the hospital walls. It is about empowering people by driving society towards equity, social inclusion, and cohesion. A good healthcare system is one that treats the richest and the poorest members of the society with the same respect and dedication without any discrimination.
- UHC is about putting money in people’s pockets indirectly. By reducing healthcare costs, people will have more money left to spend on themselves, and that is one of the fundamental principles that determine the growth of a nation as a whole.
Without an excellent universal healthcare plan, a country cannot really consider itself to be developed. As more and more people across the globe agitate for some form of health cover, many governments are starting to bow down to the pressure. With time it may become a reality for many, but for now, the struggle continues.