Health Care As A Fundamental Human Right

picture showing health care giver and recipient

Health care is the focus of my post today. I will try as much as I could to bring you the facts and then give you my takes on each and every topic.

Health care is a fundamental human right whether you want it or not. The right to live, the right to speak and the right to express your opinion in whatever situation and on whatever topic all fall into the category of basic human rights. Unfortunately, this is not so. Let us face reality; these are the most abused all over the world.

Human rights abuse is not the focus of this post but health care which is part of it is. It is a reality that leaves a bitter taste in your mouth when you realize that some people are intentionally denied the most basic things just because of their ethnicity, religious beliefs, their sexual orientation or something else. “I will refuse you a service just because I don’t like your God dam guts”.

Health care systems vary all over the world. We have situations where in one country, people are offered almost all for free while in other countries, people will have to pay exorbitant amount of their income to be able to have access to the most basic health care. We have some countries where people pay as high as a whopping 80% of their income on health insurance.

Countries With The Best Health Care System

universal health care for all
Always very curious about something I am passionate about, I conducted a research. I wanted to know which country in the world cares most about the health of her citizens. I came up with a statistics about the best health care systems as well as the worst. France is a country where you want to be.

Before I go on, let me just say that most of these reports, based on my research were expected. We have countries like Sierra Leone and Myanmar at the very bottom of the ladder. It is not surprising judging that these countries have gone through brutal civil wars in recent years. That should be no excuse though.

Developing World Health Care

Of the so called developing countries, we have a bunch of then ranking ahead of some countries that claim to be among the developed countries. Costa Rica ranks ahead of USA for instance. We have some third world countries ranking ahead of the so called developed word in their health systems.

Health Care System In The Developed World

When developed countries are concerned, a different perspective is taken. These are countries who claim to care for their citizens. By checking the statistics, the results may disappoint you. America has the worst. Read my take on that.

Europeans Have Best HealthCare Systems

Almost all countries in Europe are considered to be developed. I also have my take on that. We however have some countries which are less expected to break the ranks.

Europeans dominate from the first to the 29th position with countries like Singapore (6th position) and Japan (10th position) breaking in to their ranks.

Universal Health Care

This is a system where health services as well as financial protection are provided to residents of a country or a particular region. This kind of system however varies from country to country based on legislation and also on the types of packages made available. Again, a very large number of European countries adopt one form or the other of this system. France of course takes the lead.

Citizens Have Free Access To Basic Health Care

This may sound odd to someone who is not familiar with the facts. If you live in a country where big insurance companies and pharmaceutical industries dictate the trends of their governmental policies relating to health, then you will not understand this. Your basic human right to health care may have been violated and you don’t know it.

A number of countries in Europe and a couple more from Asia and even Africa offer free basic health care to their citizens under some kind of conditions. For instance:

  • Children up to high school graduation
  • Registered unemployed people (if they register in government approved work force organizations)
  • Elderly people above certain age
  • Immediate family members of fallen soldiers and public workers who died in their line of duty (Police, Fire Fighters etc)
  • More groups that vary from country to country.

For this type of health coverage system to work, there must be a very strong legislative backing set in place in order to avert the possibility of abuse.

I have often heard “Who will pay for that?” whenever a discussion about universal health care arises. Who will pay? It is unfortunate that this kind of question is being asked when it has to do with something the general public can benefit from. Nobody ever asks where the funding will come from when a country goes out to war. Yet, the cost of a month of war is by far greater than the cost of caring for a million people for a year.

Healthcare In America

One would expect that The United States Of America will be among the countries with the best healthcare system but ALAS, it is not. Not even in the top 50s. The healthcare system in America is so complicated that it has become the theme for debate for decades. Presidents come and go, yet the United States has not found a kind of system that will benefit the vast majority of the population. The “existing condition” benefits only the insurance companies and their CEOs. The United States claim to be a world leader is certainly not in its health care system.

In the opinion of this author, the best thing near a good healthcare in the US was the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or the so-called Obamacare and some politicians (Read GOP) want to get rid of it without presenting a better alternative. For what reason? It’s all politics. The truth is that millions of Americans benefited from this act. Unfortunately, this has been turned into politics and the politicians care less for their people. They care more about their seats and/or their wallet. The ordinary American hardly understands the Affordable Care Act and nobody ever cares to explain it to them.

High Prices Of Prescription Drugs

Another outcry in the US health system is the abnormally high prices of prescription drugs. Insulin for instance is ten times more expensive in the US than in Canada. Not only that, American pay more for prescription drugs than any place in the world. This is wonderful news for the pharmaceutical industries.

Health Care In Russia

Americans might not like this but the reality is here. Russia believes that health care is a fundamental human right. Therefore Russia offers free health care to her citizens. While the system is not the best according to World Health Organization, yet it served its people to some extent.

Health Care In Asia

Asia now has an industry which is growing very rapidly. It is called Medical Tourism. As a result of high medical cost and the very unaffordable health insurance policies in some parts of the world, people have been choosing a couple of Asian countries as their destination for health services.

When you compare the quality you get with the cost, the balance tilts in favor of Asian countries such as Thailand, India, and Singapore etc. You will have to dish out as much as $50,000 if you need a typical knee surgery in the United States whereas in a country like Singapore, the surgery can be as less as $10,000.

Cheap Teeth Removal In Europe

Some European countries are not left behind in this. A few years ago, I was having these loose teeth and causing me considerable pain. My dentist in the US wanted to charge over $500 to remove the 3 teeth even though I have some kind of coverage.

Two months later, the very same teeth were removed by a dentist in Novi Sad, Serbia for ONLY $20 each! Without any coverage.

Where Does Africa Stand?

advancement of health care in Africa
As you would expect, Africa has the worst health services. The reason is very clear to everybody. The corruption of leaders, mismanagement of government funds, the lack of good organization combined with senseless wars contribute to the plight of Africa.

Unfortunately, the continent is always the most hit whenever an epidemic breaks out. Poor hygiene and poor medical facilities is very rampart.

A Twinkle In Darkness

In view of poor medical facilities in Africa, yet some countries have been moving forward in advancing their health care systems. Countries like Algeria, Botswana and Burkina Faso all operate the Universal Health Care System. The public health system in most countries is free.

In Nigeria as well as a few countries which used to be English colonies, there is this system of General Hospitals. These are hospitals built and funded by the government. Access to these hospitals is 100% free. Every citizen whether insured or not insured can go there and get treatment free of charge.

The downside of these General Hospitals is that due to corruption and under funding, the services may not be as qualitative as in privately owned hospitals. I believe that with good governance and the absence of the rampart corruption in Nigeria, the country should be among the world ranking health centers of the world.