Access to health in the developped and developing world

Exclusively written for the Sting by Mr Aluko Oluzabusayo Daniel, student of medicine and surgery at Lagos University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria. Mr Aluko is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Association (IFMSA).

Profile picture of ALUKO OLUWABUSAYO DANIEL

Mr Aluko Oluzabusayo Daniel is student of medicine and surgery at Lagos University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria.

The idea that complete access to optimum health care is reserved only for the financially stable in the society or that inequality in health care access should exist for various social reasons first of all should not harmonize with our thoughts and policies against that should be formulated and implemented globally. To think that the only means by which people will be get access to adequate health care is determined by their income, education, ethnicity, occupation or place of residence is absurd and should not stand in our world today. This is because the highest attainable standard of health is a fundamental right of any human being (including refugees and internally displaced persons) wherever they may find themselves.

Economical stability as a result of technological advancement, level of industrialisation, widespread infrastructure, per capita income and general standard of living makes it obvious as to who is getting more affordable access to health care and where. In the United States, only 5.3% of persons failed to obtain needed medical care due to costs in the past year. This is a stat the government is still trying to improve by formulating and implementing key programs like the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” to give Americans access to affordable and quality healthcare and insurance. However, a program like the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) introduced in Nigeria since its inception has enrolled only 5% of the working population. The NHIS was introduced to warrant accessibility to healthcare for Nigerians.

Questions should be asked. Questions like why governments of most developing nations pay little attention to the healthcare sector which is evident in their budget allocation, how we could increase and measure access to safe, effective healthcare and reduce disparities in health care access for diverse populations (including racial and ethnic minorities as well as older adults) and how we could improve access to palliative and emergency healthcare services.

You see, the issue with healthcare in most developed nations is inequality in access, as it appears that a non citizen or basically someone who is not under a particular scheme isn’t given equal or affordable healthcare services like General Practitioner consultations.  However, in most developing nations, the issues are so diverse that they are bordered by so many topic barriers.

Availability of health care and the financial ability of people to access the good quality available care are usually directly proportional.  Firstly, if healthcare services are sufficiently available for use, then the opportunity to procure healthcare services exists right? Obviously! However, in a situation when there’s no availability in the first place or the services are scarce due to ineptitude on the side of the suppliers, situations affected by the topic of burden won’t be helped. Also, there are over 400 million people in the developing world without the financial access to basic healthcare. This is a real problem and measures should be taken by their governments to deliver health insurance to them as well as increase the affordability of these services.

Also, there seems to be a dearth of the availability of the healthcare workforce in the developing world and most especially in primary health care. This shouldn’t be surprising because people trained there just tend to look for places where they can be better appreciated for the services they can offer. Well, you can call that “Brain Drain”. Imagine a government that refuses to pay the salaries of its doctors, and when they complain by taking part in an industrial legal action, decides to lay them off! Primary health care on the other hand is so important that it’s regarded as the first point of contact of individuals to healthcare and shouldn’t be taken for granted. The primary health care is known for its role in limiting the spread of communicable diseases and spread of health education in the developing world especially. Therefore, encouragement of medical graduates and exclusive training of individuals as health extension workers to work at this level should be heavily funded by governments. Current efforts to revitalise primary health care worldwide should go concurrently with attention paid to the social determinants of health.

Without going much deeper, technology has been a neglected factor in the developing world unlike the developed world. What technology does makes it easier for patients to get access to the information they really need as regarding to their health, helps strengthen communication between doctors and patients thereby helping them stay healthy. This is also a form of health care access and should be explored from all angles. Furthermore, laboratory and clinical investigations would be done with ease in these regions if only modern medical facilities like the electrocardiogram (ECG), Magnet Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines, Computed Tomography Scanning and so on were available as well as uninterrupted power supply to make them work because modern medicine relies on the clinical laboratory as a key component of health care.

“Now our job, our duty, our responsibility to ensure the safety and security of our citizens cannot be complete unless we guarantee health care security for all” Thomas Vilsack

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

To my Chinese friend

Human rights chief calls for international probe on Venezuela, following ‘shocking accounts of extrajudicial killings’

An open letter from business to world leaders: “Be ambitious, and together we can address climate change”

THE COMMITTEES: From the colonies to the space race – past, present, future converge in Fourth Committee

Inegalitarian taxation on labour haunts Europe’s social model

Postal workers in France are helping elderly people fight loneliness

Eurozone banks to separate risky activities: Can they stay afloat?

Joint advocacy letter template to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Nuclear test ban treaty critical to global collective security – UN chief

Water supply a human right but Greeks to lose their functioning utilities

Lack of involvement, or lack of opportunities?

UN condemns deadly attack against G5 Sahel force headquarters in Mali

FROM THE FIELD: A UN peacekeepers-eye view of DR Congo

Libya: ‘Substantial civilian casualties’ in Derna, UN humanitarian chief ‘deeply concerned’

EU-Russia relations: the beginning of a warmer winter?

What can stop the ‘too big to fail’ bankers from terrorising the world?

The European Parliament double-checks the EU 2014-2020 budget

Job automation risks vary widely across different regions within countries

Want a more inclusive society? Start with mobility

New chapters in EU-China trade disputes

UN urges ‘restraint’ in Bangladesh’s post-presidential election violence

Why are the Balkans’ political leaders meeting in Geneva this week?

A Sting Exclusive: “China-Africa Cooperation Sets a Fine Example of South-South Cooperation”, by China’s Ambassador to EU

Why do medical students have to emigrate to become doctors in 2017?

Young people meet in Malta to shape the future of Europe

UN agency chief calls Ethiopia’s revised refugee law ‘one of most progressive’ in Africa

Draghi tells the Parliament the ECB to use all its weaponry; euro slides to parity with the dollar

Canada and EU officially sign the trade agreement that could open-up the road to TTIP

UN chief condemns deadly attacks in Afghanistan

These charts show where the world’s refugees came from in 2017 – and where they’re heading

Imported and EU fisheries products should be treated equally

Why we need both science and humanities for a Fourth Industrial Revolution education

Better care, stronger laws needed to save 30 million babies on the brink of death

Eating less beef and more beans would cut deaths by 5-7%

Commission goes less than mid-way on expensive euro

Is ECB helping Germany to buy cheaply the rest of Europe?

TTIP is not dead as of yet, the 15th round of negotiations in New York shouts

Can Greece’s devastating economy deal with the migration crisis?

Three ways the world must tackle mental health

EU lawmakers vote to reintroduce visas for Americans over “reciprocity principle”

“Access denied”: the Greek health system under pressure

UN chief condemns killing of ‘blue helmets’ in DR Congo, as violence erupts prior to elections

MWC 2016 LIVE: EC adds Brazil to partner tally

Some Prevailing Arguments and Perceptions over the South China Sea Issue Are Simply Wrong

The representatives of the regions and the cities know better what the EU needs on migration, trade, poverty and taxation

Climate Change: a challenge yet to be tackled in medical schools

A Sting Exclusive: “Seize the opportunity offered by Africa’s continental free trade area”, written by the Director General of UNIDO

Climate change will never be combatted by EU alone while some G20 countries keep procrastinating

Guinea-Bissau: Upcoming elections vital to prevent ‘relapse’ into instability, says UN envoy

This is the world’s greenest football club – and you’ve probably never even heard of it

EU to increase spending and improve delivery of education in emergencies and protracted crises

Deal on protecting workers from exposure to harmful substances

From diamonds to recycling: how blockchain can drive responsible and ethical businesses

“Health and environment first of all”, EU says with forced optimism after 7th round of TTIP talks

‘12 million’ stateless people globally, warns UNHCR chief in call to States for decisive action

Bid to raise $5.5 billion for millions of Syrians and their host communities

EU members commit to build an integrated gas market and finally cut dependency on Russia

The ECB still protects the banks at the expense of the EU taxpayers

The way to entrepreneurship in the developing world

A Europe that delivers: EU citizens expect more EU level action in future

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s