Frequent reports of avoidable death of people â€“ especially young men and women â€“ due to lack of finance or access to health care makes the news every now and then. It‘s heartbreaking when a 19 year old commits suicide because his family is struggling to meet the expense of dialysis. It‘s heart wrenching to see a mother cry in distress unable to save her son who is fighting blood cancer and wants to live. And then there is the woman who died at childbirth and a young infant lost his life to diarrhea. Or surviving the queue for a much required operation at a government hospital. It‘s hard to be poor, it‘s harder to be ill and poor.
Every citizen must be guaranteed a basic minimum right to healthcare. And government must allow private facilities to foster because the government cannot do it alone. We often look at private hospitals as the playground of the rich, but this is untrue. Privatisation of the healthcare industry has not only created better systems and delivery; it has also created advancement of healthcare in the country and created job opportunities. When privatization is nurtured, choices are created and more people have access. It does not shut out the poor, it creates an environment of inclusion and competition wherein public institutions are forced out of complacency. It also allows advancement in technology, technique, treatment and talent.
The biggest issue is the poor‘s inability to meet the cost of proper healthcare and access to it considering our geographical difficulties. The free market brings costs down because private hospitals must compete to offer high standards of treatment at competitive rates and go where the market exists. The government can help by regulating the quality of healthcare and providing impetus to private hospitals and clinics through tax breaks and reform in national health policies.
Health is more than an economic good, it is an essential human right no doubt, yet healthcare costs. We already know that state run health care systems do not work very well. The answer then must be found in increased privatization of healthcare to include affordability and a system of voluntary donation and discount for the needy.
There is no price for life. A patient in ICU just wants to be able to live. A patient rarely decides the treatment type or the medication, he is rarely in a position to bargainâ€¦ having more choices allows him this privilege. Free markets create this choice and create affordability.