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We have countries which are at different stages of development in the world. There are also countries where there disturbance, violence and in some cases even war and strife. While in many developed countries healthcare has become too costly and unaffordable to ordinary citizens of those countries. There is also the issue of certain countries having more aged people in the population and there is not much of infrastructure to provide the health facilities required to them. Each country is unique and has its own problems regarding provision of healthcare. Health is a vital part of any nation as a healthy nation is a wealthy nation. Keeping in view some of the issues raised above let us see some solutions for the problems in hand in different parts of the world.
In certain countries the size of the population is very huge and the medical infrastructure is unable to keep pace with the requirement of the population which is growing at a rapid pace. The number of beds to patients ratio, number of doctors to patients ratio, number of paramedical staff available for the patients is very uneven. This creates huge stress on the existing infrastructure as it is unable to cope with the load of patients whom it is supposed to cater. This leads to improper service, delay in service, longer time to get a appointment with the doctor and many other such issues which break the backbone of the existing infrastructure which will be on the verge of collapse.
If the number of aged people are more in a country then there is shortage of staff again to provide the service even if it is a developed country. Out of the total population in that country only a few percentage of the youth will opt for the medical profession and the money spent to get medical education is exorbitant as it is a professional course and needs lot of specialization as medicine has become a very specialized field.
Even among those who opt for this particular career too there will be very few who will go for specialization as it involves more time and costs and not many can afford so much of time. This results a shortage of specialists who then have to be exported from a different country and those people should be able to converse well in the language of this particular country and be comfortable and able to serve these patients this again requires time, training, effort, money and lots of paper work and passing the exam of the country where they have to go. All this makes things difficult and affects the quality of service available to the patients.
One more issue in several countries faced by the common man is the lack of state medical welfare. One has to pay from his pocket after working his whole life and when he becomes ill and critical then the state does not come to the rescue of the individual. While the same state or governments would go all out chasing the person when he is working to collect all sorts of taxes from the individual. This is ironic and this needs to be addressed by the governments and the respective countries. People who are citizens of a country should not be used as a cash cow till the time they are find and then thrown as used tissue paper into the dustbin when unwell and needing help. Except some very few countries like Cuba, New Zealand etc. many leave their citizens in the lurch to fend for themselves. Which is very unfortunate.
Another major problem which citizens face in many countries is that there is not many countries and their governments provide mandatory medical insurance covering all aspects of the citizens health. Taking insurance policies proves very costly as the premiums are very high and the earnings of the citizens are so low that they have to lead a hand to mouth existence. So they thinking of insurance is out of question and impractical and when unfortunately health gives up and they land in the hospital. It will be prohibitive and cost a bomb and will lead to huge financial difficulties for the entire family as all the savings if any too will be wiped out and they will literally come on the roads. This is a difficult situation to be in and this has to change for the better in many countries.
The next thing we find is that while there are state run health facilities which are totally free not many would want to go their as they are maintained unhygienically and number of patients is more while beds, doctors and other staff are very few. Deficient service is provided and patients are treated like dirt. Bribery rules the roost and those who are able to pay some bribe are given the services while the other are neglected. This sort of nepotism and bribery increases the chances of mortality among the patients to a great extent. Which is not good for any country.
There is one more variety of situation found in many countries which is that both the state and private sector are there in this service industry. While the services provided by the state hospital are free and quality is as mentioned above. The private sector hospitals are pricey and exorbitant. Those who are very well moneyed and are having a high status in the society are the ones who can afford the hospitals which are good and cater to the high end market in the country leaving a large section of the population as it is not affordable for them.
They also are not interested in entertaining poor patients as they are not a revenue making model and profitable in their scheme of things. The companies also concentrate on patients from developed countries abroad and those patients come here as the facilities are good and are cheaper compared to what it is in their country. So this results in medical tourism and is a big revenue earner for these private hospitals. There is no social responsibility on the part of these hospitals too. Which is very regrettable.
In war or strife torn nations there situation is worse there is nothing called medical facilities as everything is damaged and destroyed and hospitals are in shambles. Only way medical aid is reached is through United Nations and their associated members countries who voluntarily try to help these nations as this is a humanitarian crisis. Funds are lacking and problems are plenty it is a hopeless situation in places like Syria, Iraq, Yemen and other such hot spots in different parts of the world.
All this leads one to conclude that the governments of the country are the ones who should be responsible for the citizens health of their country. They cannot shrug away responsibility citing one excuse or the other. They have to provide funds required to construct hospitals, get people who are professionals to manage them and get the requisite number of staff, beds and other such things which are essential for providing proper health care.
This procedure needs a standardization by a world body and all countries should be asked to follow the same and enforce the guidelines which have been framed for the benefit of the patients in different countries in the world. This is a tall order but there should be a beginning made and implemented properly if one wants to see that people are healthy and the population forms a good human resource which can be used positively for revenue generation. What is the situation in your country share your experience in the comments section.
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Well I believe that while the Healthcare in countries of Scandinavia- Denmark, Sweden etc is very good and due to lesser population, its fully Government funded, well maintained and affordable.
Yet in US, UK etc, its costly but still accessible.
As for India, it is accessible for those with deep pockets, but still it hurts.
For Middle class- a big disease means, years of hard work and saved money gone for a six.
For rest- well it is a miserable state to be in.
Govt. hospitals and clinics are mostly pathetic, and if someone falls seriously ill, its only a Godly intervention that can save them.
And many countries are even worse than India, some have almost non-existent healthcare.
What we need is more citizen-to-citizens and NGOs to NGOs collaboration across the globe.
And Governments must be made accountable for Healthcare.
Else, demolish all the Govt. hospitals and hand them over to citizens cooperatives who can perhaps run them better.
And Technology can play a better role, in form of Telemedicine, Employee Health Records(EHR), rationalization of expenses in private and public hospitals.
I have a lot to say, but as of now I think the citizens must get united and have more say in how Healthcare services are there in a country.
Entirely agree with your assessment of the pathetic situation in many countries worldwide including our own dear country. They have to act fast and deliver what is due to the people. While situation is bad it is not impossible to reverse this trend. A strong will to deliver on the part of the government is a must. Government and all concerned must rise to the occasion and take up the challenge.
At least in our country,Philippines, the government gives every poor citizen free hospitalization in public hospitals; or they are enrolled in medical insurance or Philhealth which they can use even in private hospitals. Though in some areas, there are poor medical services like lack of good hospitals that are equipped with good facilities and manned by good doctors or medical staff.
One of the problems here is that many health professionals like doctors, nurses, etc. leave the country for abroad to work there for higher wages.
Even here in our country many finish the MBBS then go abroad to pursue higher studies and never come back once they finish masters. They search for jobs abroad and set up their house there and lead a good life for all the effort made since childhood. But governments funds their education in universities which is from tax payers money.
People are more in India and doctors are very less and now the private hospitals are trying to fill in the gap. This service has to grow more here as there is a huge potential and lot of patients are there for whom help is required. Thanks for your inputs.