It is the duty of every industrialized nation or for that matter, for all the countries in the world to provide its citizens with universal health care. Almost all the nations do so to a certain extent but in a few, the public health care benefits are not universal but are more focused towards those below the poverty level. The point is that the government of the day provides all its citizens with better health care options with either minimal or no payment and in the process, ensures that their essential health requirements and needs are met. The US is one of the few nations that is yet to have any universal healthcare system which is why we may want to take a closer look at some of the positive and negative impacts of a public health care system so as to get a better reckoning of the topic.
The positive impact of public health system
- Free health care: Harry Truman was instrumental in envisaging free healthcare for all and it is rather ironical that the US is the only one among a small handful that is yet to promise its citizens anything by way of universal health care system. A public health care package will not differentiate between anyone and instead, it will be engineered to provide all with the same health care package, from all walks of life. Such a health care package will enable you to seek treatment for various health conditions that are deemed serious, right away and in the process, you should be able to take better care of yourself.
- No financial burden: More often than not, patients often incur financial hardship when seeking treatment. This puts them through greater stress which is why implementing a public health care system at the earliest makes more sense. Since most, if not all the treatments would be free of cost, the patient would not have to undergo any burden as a result of seeking treatment for his current condition.
- No Exclusions: Essentially, what this means is that you, as a citizen are insured from the day you are born and that there would be no exclusions on account of any pre-existing conditions. So this means that with a public health care system in place, you can now seek treatment with the doctor of your choice, or the hospital for your current condition.
- Cover charge: With a public health care system, you may still be required to pay a small cover charge but this would be minimal at best and may be waived off completely for those below the poverty line.
The negative impact of Public health system
- Restricted treatments: Not all the medical procedures or doctor visits would be covered by public health care system; only a select few and even for those, you would be provided with certain forms of treatment as opposed to others. For example, let’s say that you prefer certain types of medicines to others; with a public health care package you may be able to get only the former because it is cost effective. In other words, under a public health care package, you cannot pick and choose your treatment or your medicines.
- Confidentiality: With a government instituted health care package, you cannot expect complete doctor-patient confidentiality as some of the facts pertaining to your case will be shared with other doctors. In fact, with a public health care system in place, you can expect that your current health condition, treatment methodologies and medications used to treat your condition would become part of your medical profile which can then be accessed by other doctors.
- Expertise: Most doctors would prefer highly compensated positions and as such, the public health care system may not offer them much. This can lead to a shortfall of doctors and this is something that should cause you to worry since this can impact your health in the long run. With fewer doctors around, there would be a backlog of patients and the doctors themselves would be rushed and overstressed. So you may not end up receiving adequate medical care, as you should have and this can severely impact your health.
These are some of the positives and the negative impact of public health system.