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Healthcare Services: Right or Privilege?

Abstract

It is generally believed that all people should have free access to health care services. However, today healthcare is a privilege that only particular people can access even though it should be a human right. As a rule, people do not want to receive healthcare, as it is seen as an unpleasant process. They do not want to pay for health care, but they need to do this because they require the capacity to benefit from it. The allocation of healthcare services depends on the demand while the supply deals with the connection between resources, costs and outputs, and the structure of the market. Unfortunately, the demand for health care services tends to increase, and supply opportunities fail to meet it.

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Healthcare is a Privilege

It is generally believed that all people should have free access to health care services. It is seen as a human right to health, which “includes access to timely, acceptable, and affordable health care of appropriate quality” (WHO, 2015, par. 1). However, it is impossible to say that all representatives of the world’s population today have this right.

Healthcare services are rather expensive nowadays, and their costs continue increasing. As a result, more and more people are not able to afford the treatment they require. Healthcare itself made about 100 million individuals poor, as they had to spend all their savings on the services that are claimed to be accessible to everyone (WHO, 2015). It should be emphasized that the government tends to provide more opportunities for the vulnerable population. Different programs are created to give the general public a chance to get insured (Macroeconomics and public health, n.d.). Still, only particular populations can apply for them, which prevents a diverse population from having equal health rights. In order to receive help and get insured, people should meet the requirement for application, which means that numerous individuals are still left behind. Public organizations are doing their best to find a way out. Country’s unique delivery systems are considered, for example, but a range of issues still exists (Sensenig, 2007). Those who are employed have better chances to receive required treatment, as health insurance is promised in many workplaces. However, even though hundreds of billions of dollars are spent on healthcare, it remains unapproachable for lots of people (Getzen, 2013). Some are not able to earn for their leaving as others; some require so expensive treatment that it is not covered by the insurance.

Thus, it can be said that today healthcare is a privilege that only particular people can access even though it should be a human right. Those who belong to poor levels of society can only hope that their lives will meet the requirements needed for an application for health programs, as they will not be able to receive healthcare services otherwise. Health organizations and the government are just trying to improve this situation, and it is not time yet to speak about the right to health.

Demand and Supply

Macroeconomics analyzes the market to get to know what should be produced, for whom and how much it should cost. The same is done in the framework of health care. As a rule, people do not want to receive healthcare, as it is seen as an unpleasant process. Still, the desire to be healthy makes individuals require healthcare services. Taking into account this information, it can be said that people do not want to pay for health care, but they need to do this because they require the capacity to benefit from it. In this way, the demand for health care is similar to the demand for any other service, but it has a more complicated nature. The allocation of healthcare services depends on the demand. The supply can be considered in two ways. First of all, it deals with the connection between resources, costs and outputs. For example, the way productivity is affected by substitution can be considered (effects of replacing physician with a nurse in order to reduce costs). Then, the structure of the market can be discussed. For example, how many healthcare establishments provide the same services within one region and how do they set their prices, output and profit (larger profit can be gained with higher prices and lower output, etc.) (Parkin, 2009). Unfortunately, the demand for health care services tends to increase and supply opportunities fail to meet it.

References

Getzen, T. E. (2013). Health economics and financing (5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

Macroeconomics and public health. (n.d.). Web.

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Parkin, D. (2009). Principles of health economics. Web.

Sensenig, A. L. (2007). Refining estimates of public health spending as measured in national health expenditure accounts: The United States experience. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 13(2), 103–114.

WHO. (2015). Health and human rights. Web.

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