I understand social justice as the fair distribution of resources among the members of society. Stanhope and Lancaster (2020) view social justice as a reasonable allocation of benefits and burdens among individuals. Socialized healthcare is a controversial topic because it ensures universal access to care but eliminates the competition between healthcare providers, which might undermine the quality of services. It is not the same as social justice because it lacks the burdens component if universal care is provided for all people regardless of their taxpayer status or contribution to society. Equal access to socioeconomic opportunities is the requirement for equal healthcare. Social justice might be achieved through implementing some aspects of socialized medicine, such as free preventive procedures. Communism does not necessarily mean social justice as it refers to the ideology of community-owned property and the absence of state government. The Healthcare system needs government assistance in the form of fair policymaking promoting social justice.
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Based on the value aspect, the healthcare system is fair because people get services in exchange for the amount of money they or their insurance companies pay. However, people who are unemployed or work part-time jobs do not have insurance provided by their employer or enough pocket money to pay for medical services, including preventive care (Laureate Education, 2009). The promotion of good and prevention of harm are the primary goals of ethical care (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2020). Thus, the healthcare system is not fair in the ethical sense since it limits the rights of disadvantaged populations for health and well-being by presenting health as a product for privileged customers or patients.
If I could instantly fix the healthcare system, the first thing that I would notice would be the absence of preventable diseases and deaths caused by health inequity. The current state of the healthcare system and its dependence on insurance coverage leads to health disparities. Ethnic minorities and low-income individuals cannot afford quality healthcare services, insurance, or medication (Laureate Education, 2009). As a result of high medical costs and insurance-based healthcare, a lot of people do not go to hospitals for treatment. Instead, they are admitted to the ER (in a critical condition), where they can receive free care following the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act of 1986 (Zhou et al., 2019). Therefore, it is vital for nurses and other medical professionals to advocate for changes in federal and state legislation to provide resources and funding for disease prevention in vulnerable minority and poverty-affected populations.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2009). Family, community and population-based care: Vulnerable populations [Video file]. Author.
Stanhope, M., & Lancaster, J. (2020). Public health nursing: Population-centered health care in the community (10th ed.). Elsevier.
Zhou, J. Y., Amanatullah, D. F., & Frick, S. L. (2019). EMTALA (Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act) obligations: A case report and review of the literature. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 101(12). Web.