Healthcare is a layered issue. It affects billions of people around the world, and is a national issue where accountability is key. The role of governments, states, local councils, private corporations and activists is key to ensuring the smooth running of healthcare services.
Naturally, the first entity that is held responsible is the central government. The Government is perhaps the only entity that has the resources to tackle such a complex matter. In most countries around the globe, the provision of healthcare services is privatized, meaning that healthcare is susceptible to the daily movements of the common market.
What does this all mean to you? It is quite simple. Most of the institutions you engage for your daily healthcare needs, such as drug companies, private hospitals, insurance firms and sanitary product manufacturers such as P&G are all listed in the stock market. When any company is listed in the stock market, its first responsibility is to its shareholders. Essentially, to profit making.
As a result, there is a large conflict of interest. Healthcare is not a luxury for which you want to spend excessively, and is often an undesirable cost. It can also be excessive in many cases. This is why the role of the Government is so crucial. In any nation, the only entity that is set up purely to service people is the Government and its various associated institutions.
In today’s age, it is important for governments to recognize the importance their role is in ensuring the basic welfare of their people. Politics is second to this, and political agendas should be kept on the side whilst devising healthcare related policies. Sadly, that doesn’t often happen.
Socialism is not really a bad thing when it comes to healthcare. The concept of universal healthcare is something that has debated endlessly among economists, and has been tested in some Scandinavian nations. That is a topic for another post, though.