Health is part of a nation’s wealth
In the UK, healthcare is delivered free at the point of use, so anyone can go into a hospital and receive treatment, but in many other countries, healthcare is a paid-for service. This means that many who often need medical care cannot pay for it, often becoming even sicker.
Health professionals and allied health areas provide health care. Health care includes medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, midwifery, nursing, optometry, audiology, psychology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, sports training, and other health professions. It encompasses work in primary care, secondary care, and tertiary care, as well as public health. It covers not just individual and family health issues, but also the broader issue of public health and the requirements of designated populations, by providing care in the community as well as care via the community.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused increasing challenges for healthcare professionals globally. However, there is a dearth of information about these challenges in many developing countries. Universal, nondiscriminatory access to health care is a human right entrenched in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. The United States is experiencing a healthcare crisis, with many people unable to obtain life-saving care owing to financial constraints. This has a disproportionate impact on those who are already marginalized as a result of their socioeconomic situation, racial identity, gender identity, sexual orientation, immigrant status, and other reasons. Rather than viewing healthcare as a partisan political issue, it should be viewed as a human rights problem. That would imply establishing a system of universal, equitable, and non-discriminatory health care; prioritizing a single-payer, publicly-funded system to ensure access to comprehensive, high-quality care for all people as a right and a public good. Some universal healthcare systems are government-funded, whilst others require all individuals to acquire private health insurance.
Universal healthcare is defined by three important dimensions: who is covered, what services are covered, and how much of the cost is covered. The World Health Organization defines it as a condition in which citizens can obtain health services without incurring financial hardship. Universal healthcare does not imply coverage for all cases and all people; rather, it means that everyone has access to healthcare when and when it is needed, without financial difficulty.
Level: Intermediate: B1/B2
Running Time: 90 minutes +
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To understand this debate it is useful to learn the following words and concepts.
World Health Organization
Social health insurance
Health care access
Health care crisis
Pros and Cons of providing free healthcare
Should the state provide free health care to homeless people?
The underlying causes of chronic homelessness and limited access to health care are precarious living conditions and poverty. For many, the everyday battle for housing, food, and clothes pushes health to the sidelines. Individuals with complex medical needs frequently struggle to locate and maintain adequate accommodation. There is a well-established link between homelessness and access to healthcare. Cancer, heart disease, and mental health issues are more common in homeless people than in the general population. Behavioural health concerns, a lack of housing, and a higher risk of violence worsen their challenges. Shelter-based health care initiatives provide low-barrier health care to persons who live in shelters. Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) is a program that provides primary health care to homeless people. Primary health care, drug addiction services, emergency care, outreach, and support in qualifying for housing are all required in this program.
People who are homeless frequently have multiple complex health issues, but they are frequently disconnected from primary health care providers, putting significant pressure on the acute health system. Obstacles to accessing primary care for homeless people include competing needs and priorities, disease and poor health, physical access to health services, difficulty contacting providers, medication security, and health care affordability. Relationship obstacles to primary care might arise as a result of differences in social standing and perceptions of being assessed. Prioritizing access to stable housing, continuity of health care, specialized homeless general practice, hospital outreach, discharge planning and coordinated care, general practice outreach, and medical recovery centres are among the key solutions. The lack of healthcare access for homeless persons is a systemic issue that can only be properly addressed by making significant changes to the current systems that allow it to exist.
Everyone must be required to have a health insurance
In order to deal with rising medical costs, a health insurance plan may be a realistic alternative. It ensures financial security by covering treatment, hospitalization, free health checks, and pre and post-hospitalization expenses. Many of the causes of healthcare expenses are unaffected by workplace health programs, but they can influence unhealthy habits, which is why one of the key benefits of wellness is lower health care costs. By aiding employees in adopting and sustaining healthy practices, their health is enhanced, and chronic diseases are avoided. If you don’t visit the doctor frequently or take regular medications, you won’t have to spend much toward your deductible. This, however, could alter at any time. That is the level of risk you are willing to accept. Health insurance provides financial protection in case you have a serious accident or illness. As many people from the insurance industry will tell you, “You can’t put a price tag on health.”
The biggest drawback of obtaining health insurance is the expense, as different health insurance plans can require greater premiums based on a variety of factors such as your health status, age, and lifestyle. Unaffordable premiums as a result of pre-existing medical issues (health insurance providers require those with certain pre-existing health conditions to pay a higher premium because of the higher likelihood they have of using the insurance as well as the cost it would take for treatments and hospitalizations). Without health insurance, a catastrophic accident or health problem that necessitates emergency care and/or an expensive treatment plan can lead to poor credit or even bankruptcy. Contrary to common assumptions, healthcare providers are not compelled by law to offer medical treatments to people who do not have health insurance. Only emergency rooms are required by law to give care.
Healthcare is a human right and should be free for everyone
Rather than viewing healthcare as a partisan political issue, it should be viewed as a human rights problem. That would imply establishing a system of universal, equitable, and non-discriminatory health care; prioritizing a single-payer, publicly funded system to ensure access to comprehensive, high-quality care for all people as a right and a public good. Healthcare is frequently a vital instrument for achieving access to health, and from a positive rights standpoint, it should be available to everyone, regardless of their ability to participate meaningfully in a free market economy. Supporting individuals who are unable to work may result in system abuse, but this is a minor price to pay for allowing all citizens to reach their full human potential. Everyone has the right to privacy as well as to be treated with dignity and respect. The right to health is a fundamental part of our human rights and of our understanding of a life in dignity.
By shifting responsibility for healthcare to individuals in need, we will save money in the long run since costs will become more competitive, and citizens will become more engaged if they want to heal. They feel that our healthcare system is the most expensive and ineffective in the Western world because there is too much government help on which people have become reliant. Those who do not feel healthcare is a right frequently argue that work is the key that unlocks the door to healthcare throughout one’s life. Earning money, saving for health, and choosing jobs with health coverage are all things that diligent, self-sufficient people should do during their productive working years to assure access to healthcare for themselves and their children. Access to government help or charity is an earned privilege for individuals who work hard and earn wages that do not cover the expense of healthcare.
The real-world consequences of this are visible in a healthcare system that is the most expensive, ineffective, and difficult to obtain in the Western world. Those who believe that healthcare is a right argue that expanding access saves money, heals individuals, and fosters a more active citizenry.
Images of people used under license from Generated Photos