With each new day there’s news about something to do with the healthcare industry, and more often than not it’s bad coverage of how poorly the system is run, how much costs are rising, and also the epidemic of not having enough staff to treat all of the patients that visit. The question on the forefront of many people’s minds is why is healthcare such a big issue? As a human we should all have the rights to receive care when we aren’t feeling well or we have hurt ourselves, yet many people around the world are still without access to medical supplies and knowledge when they need it the most.
If you live in the UK, it’s likely that you’ve been under the care of the NHS at some point in your life. The NHS is a tax funded healthcare organization that allows us to have free healthcare as and when we need it. Or at least that’s the idea anyway. Tax payers money is being pumped into healthcare establishments all over the UK, yet there never seems to be enough staff, space, or even resources to treat it’s patients properly. The NHS is also funded by prescription charges. So, when you’ve been to see your Doctor and you’ve got to take some tablets or other kind of treatment, taxpayers have to pay a set fee for each prescription that they need. It’s a system that in theory works well, but when it comes down to it there are still many issues that need to be ironed out. For example, people that are living on benefits are entitled to free prescriptions in the UK, which can lead to a massive drop in funding for the NHS in the first place, meaning that there’s a drop in staff being employed, new equipment being bought, and funds for hospitals and doctor’s surgeries being dropped. It’s a vicious cycle.
To be completely fair, people moan about the NHS because of bad experiences they may have had, or even patients in corridors of hospitals waiting to be seen but it’s not their fault. Every single member of staff that works under the NHS works long, hard, and is often severely underpaid. People need to realize that the problems are coming simply from lack of funds, and not fault the efforts of the healthcare workers.
Some people in the UK choose to be treated privately, and this usually runs through insurance like many people have in the USA. This allows them to see a private Doctor with less patients than NHS Doctors, meaning that they are usually seen much faster and have a much more tailored and personal experience. Private healthcare is far from cheap though, and it still leads back to the all important question as to why it’s such a big issue to receive treatment when you need it.
So what can we do about it?
It’s simple really. Rather than relying on taxpayers money to fund the NHS, why can’t the government fund it? The money that the government get is often spent on things that aren’t even half as important as making sure that the health of the population is in good hands. They’d rather spend the money on building new stadiums for olympics and making sure that all of the governing staff have a lunch that’s paid for.
Why is it that our health and access to healthcare is even questioned? The first thing that we should be doing is making sure that anyone who needs care can have access to it. Life on earth as we know it would be so different if priorities of funds were changed.
The US have a system that works very much like private healthcare, but it applies to everyone that needs treatment. While if you’re sick you will be seen to and treated, you will find a large bill on your doorstep if you don’t have the right (if any) health insurance. Sometimes you can have perks with your employer that offer you and your family health care insurance for when you need it, but not all employers in the USA offer this. The systems are largely run by private companies which means that if you want to have treatment, you need the money to be able to pay for it.
This had lead to many people acting out against the healthcare system and some people have even smuggled medications over borders so that they have access to them when and if they need it. Check out this article about Utah Hurricane Pharmacy which has a story about a couple in Utah who smuggled drugs into the country so that they could sell them off at their own pharmacy.
There are people in the US living with conditions and illnesses because they simply can’t afford the healthcare that they need. If you don’t have a job and you become ill, then you’re very much in a sticky situation unless you have someone that can help out with healthcare costs.
What can we do about it?
It’s a situation that’s very much like the UK. If funding was provided for healthcare providers then they wouldn’t need to have their prices up so high. It goes back to the question again as to why people’s health is being put in jeopardy. It all boils down to money and that’s not the way the world should work, but unfortunately it does. Profit shouldn’t be able to be made from someone’s health, yet here we are in constant crisis because people can’t get the treatment that they need.
These are just ideas and theories that could be applied to the way that we run our healthcare systems in different countries. Of course there are other important factors that funds need to go into first, but we’re simply asking the question as to why isn’t healthcare a priority?