IS HEALTHCARE A RIGHT ORA PRIVELEDGE?

Nov 9, 2021 | 0 comments

Nov 9, 2021 | Essays | 0 comments

Introduction
The consequences of the lack of access to medical care for a large portion of the population have emphasized the debate on whether healthcare is a lifetime right or an entitlement. Majority of the European countries have had one form of insurance or another. Such programs stem from the desire to protect the citizen from wage losses due to sickness as well as equalize the access to proper healthcare. For every nation, the current budget on healthcare continues to increase and is still the largest portion of finances, yet the service continues to remain inaccessible in terms of quality as well as cost.
Step 1: The Problem: The global economic downturn has renewed the interest in the affordability of healthcare. Majority of the nurses today are often faced with the question of healthcare as a right on the one hand, and the need for the patient to pay for the services they are receiving on the other. An example is a case of a young girl with a terminal illness, requiring chemotherapy treatment. However, the parents lack the insurance necessary to pay for such treatment. They have therefore devised a system where they wait until the last moment, bring in the girl when she is violently ill upon which she is admitted as an emergency care patient thus allowing her the care she needs.
Step 2: Collection of information: Doctors and nurse practitioners take an oath to protect and preserve life at all costs. This means they are obligated to care first for the life and secure the health of their patient before requiring any form of compensation. During an emergency, nurses cannot begin to ask patients about their mode of payment, patients entering the hospital are required and in fact expect to be treated in a manner that secures their health. Kennedy and Bartlett (2004) state that more than 80% of the legal cases presented in court against medical practitioners and institutions as well as scandals surrounding the same institutions have stemmed from the lack of or perceived lack of care which the patient is given as a right.
Krittanawong (2017) further highlights the global demand for equalized heath acre, where every individual can access high quality healthcare within their own country easily. Healthcare is considered the most basic of needs for any citizen. It therefore falls on the government in partnership with other institutions to make such healthcare available and accessible not just in terms of payment but also quality and distance to healthcare institutions. Ruiz-Casares *et al. *(2010) indicate that the market culture dictates that those who can afford should have the right to pay for and access higher quality services for their money. This class of individuals therefore defines and allows progress in the field of medicine. To be denied higher access to healthcare services that are of their class old would be inhumane and unfair in every aspect. Progress would then become limited, thus dooming the entire population to mediocre services.
Step 3: available alternatives: The United States government has attempted to reach equality by providing and subsidizing the insurance required to access healthcare. With such subsidies, it is assumed that citizens are able to afford and therefore gain access to the best healthcare that is available and suitable for their needs. On the other hand, it is important to consider the possibility of quality. When products are made free and equalized, then it is possible that compromise of such products may be compromised. Healthcare is not just provision of services, and prescription of drugs; there are many other aspects to healthcare. These include development of diagnosis techniques, ideal medication and even advances in technology that guarantees accuracy. Each of these aspects is to be treated as a form of service. For each service rendered in a free market, there must be equal payment which is defined by both availability and quality. Despite, the desire to preserve life, it is required that the same individuals must pay for the services they have received.
When we speak of healthcare as a privilege, we therefore focus on those who can afford to pay for higher quality services. The development process of each medical service is different and higher cost services which on the one hand promise accuracy as well as effectiveness are also costlier to develop and require unique expertise to apply. Because of their nature, they can therefore not be made available to everyone; it follows therefore that only those who can afford can access the services.
Step 4: selection of an alternative: Citizens cannot be able to enjoy the rights to liberty and property if they are not living. The pursuit of happiness itself is enshrined in the assumption that such person is living or enjoying some form of quality life as defined by their own health. It follows therefore that in every case presented in a hospital or an institution, healthcare should be addressed as basic right, and thus each patient given the best possible and most accurate care for their condition. Conclusion
In every case, healthcare should be treated as a right building on the oath taken to preserve life at all costs. However, it sis also important to note that this right is limited in nature. While the preservation of life is necessary and required, the process and techniques used to preserve and secure such life could be altered. This is what defines the aspect of privilege. Healthcare services in themselves have a value defined by the cost of production and application. When healthcare is made free and equal for all people, we are denying the existence of such value, yet at the same time incurring the cost which is not a sustainable system.
References
Kennedy, B., & Bartlett, R. (2014). *U.S. Patent No. 8,788,293*. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Krittanawong, C. (2017). Healthcare in the 21st century. *European journal of internal medicine*, *38*, e17.
Ruiz-Casares, M., Rousseau, C., Derluyn, I., Watters, C., & Crépeau, F. (2010). Right and access to healthcare for undocumented children: addressing the gap between international conventions and disparate implementations in North America and Europe. *Social Science & Medicine*, *70*(2), 329-336.