World Health Day is celebrated every year on the founding day of the World Health Organization (WHO). In WHO’s 70th anniversary year, World Health Day will take on the theme on “Universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere” – ensuring that everyone, everywhere can access essential quality health services without facing financial hardship.
But with private corporations taking over public hospitals and capitalists influencing legislative measure on health, is it really possible for the masses to get the quality and affordable health care system they deserve?
These days, our health and well-being are sorted through an ever-expanding, profit-seeking financial complex that controls our very existence. We hear about people preferring to die instead of having to pay hospital bills and children holding their last few breaths in the emergency room because no doctor can assist them. How is it that health care, a fundamental right in life, became a privilege?
Capitalism and health care
We live in a world of inequality, not just in income, but increasingly in health care. The rich get more, while the poor live on the leftovers. Those without health care—or health care they can’t afford to use—are forced to make cruel decisions, which can have life threatening consequences.
This is what happens when the society is run by capitalists. No one loses in a market-driven health care system but the overwhelming number of masses who can’t even afford a consultation with a doctor. And I haven’t even mentioned the millions of people all over the world who don’t earn enough to pay for insurance or a lifesaving treatment.
Genuine health care system
Nowadays, wherever there is profit to be made, some businessman will come along and figure out a way to make money out of it.
To achieve a genuine universal healthcare system, basic social services needs to be freed from the constraints of business interests and, society as a whole needs to be freed from the dictates of profitability.
We need a new political system that empowers people and is consciously seeking to break down the divisions between experts and non-experts, in which doctors will be learning from, and actually listening to, patients. If we could only let go of these neoliberal healthcare policies, spreading medical knowledge among the masses will never be difficult.
Capitalism puts a price on everything, including human life. The urge to make money virtually ensures that health care will always be expensive. This World Health Day, let us call for a genuine universal health care which condemns market-oriented policies and neoliberal agendas. The theme, “Universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere” can only be achieved if we address the flaws of the current system and fight for a mass-oriented healthcare system.
Health Care Under Capitalism, Health Care Under Socialism. (2009, October 11). Retrieved April 5, 2018, from http://revcom.us/a/179/Ray_Lotta_Healthcare-en.html
Partanen, A. (2017, March 18). The Fake Freedom of American Health Care. Retrieved April 5, 2018, from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/18/opinion/the-fake-freedom-of-american-health-care.html