A Comparison of Healthcare Systems around the World

The Importance of Healthcare and Examples from around the World

Health and Education are social sectors that need governmental support and funding. This is especially the case in developing countries where a vast majority of the people do not have the means to afford expensive and prohibitive medical care. This is the reason why many developing countries have governmental provided healthcare that is subsidized and is social welfare oriented. Of course, the developed west also has state provided healthcare that is the norm in the UK and in Europe.

Of particular note is the healthcare system in Cuba that is a model for all developing countries in the manner in which the state provides world-class medical services to its citizens.

In contrast, the healthcare systems in India and South Asia despite governmental support have seen erosion in public perception because of which many people turn to private medical services that are efficient but also expensive.

The United States till recently was offering a privatized healthcare system that has been overhauled in 2010 with the passage of the Health Care Reform Act which is also known as Obamacare. Despite severe opposition from the Republican Party and many private healthcare providers, President Obama managed to get the health care bill passed which is seen as the first step towards actualizing the kind of social welfare oriented healthcare systems in the Scandinavian countries.

The Role of the Government in Providing Healthcare

As mentioned in the introduction, healthcare is a sector where the government has a leading role to play since it concerns the public welfare and social justice aspects. This is the reason why almost all countries in the world take it upon themselves to mandate governmental support for healthcare.

Despite this, the healthcare systems in many countries across the world are in a mess because of a variety of reasons.

These include overburdening of the healthcare systems like what is happening with the NHS or the National Health Service in the United Kingdom where the sheer numbers of patients and the scarcity of medical personnel has made the NHS go from being one of the most efficient healthcare systems in the world to being one of the worst.

Apart from this, the United States is another example (before the Healthcare reform bill was passed) where the poor and the needy were at the mercy of corporate healthcare providers for whom the ability to pay matters more than the social welfare aspects. This is the reason why many social scientists and healthcare experts often comment on the fact that healthcare must not be privatized and instead, the government must take over the healthcare systems.

What Happens when Healthcare is Privatized

In India, the healthcare system like many other social welfare sectors started off as a good example of how government can play an enabling role in providing social services that promote social welfare and social justice.

However, thanks to successive governments neglecting the sector and the steady privatization of many social sectors, the healthcare system in India is now largely in private hands where the poor and the needy are left to fend for themselves. To redress this imbalance, many state governments are providing the less privileged with access to subsidized healthcare and this is a positive trend that must be encouraged and nurtured.

Concluding Thoughts

Given the fact that staying healthy means a more productive workforce, it is in the interest of the corporate sector to ensure that healthcare is made available to the workforce and this is the reason why many public and private companies often pay for the treatment of their employees and their immediate family members.

Finally, healthcare is too critical a sector to be left to the private sector and hence, the contention or the key argument here is that the government must play a proactive and enabling role in promoting social welfare and social justice.

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