Health inequalities in the 21st century

health inequality

(Luis Melendez, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Paula Laderuski Wolf, 23 years old, a fouth-year medical student at Unicesumar Brazil –
Maringá(Paraná). She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

It is undeniable that there are multiple forms of public health care by governments and the general population. Social conditions and individual and collective health needs also influence the quality of public health, driving the government to improve the health services offered to the population.

Of course, not only does the force of population need to drive the quality of public health, the interests, agreements, and economic needs influence also.

The health costs increase for the government also becomes a justification for giving way to private initiative. The need to cover health demand, procedure costs and medical payments weigh heavily on the country’s economy.

Are public health spending too expensive? or Does bad public administration have any influence on the privatization of health? Shifting government responsibility to others allows responsible companies, who share health with the government, to invest in better quality, higher priced procedures for market competition.

As a matter of fact, how are the patients? Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to see critically patients who, without financial conditions, seek high-cost private consultations because they do not have sufficient care in the public health system.

The price is the problem, this patient is the “single consultation”, unable to continue treatment, this patient goes to a private health appointment expecting to have the resolution of his disease that most often requires a high expense.

Therefore, such a patient does not continue the treatment for not having the necessary money. Such a patient returns to the public system without the necessary treatment and takes back the medications indicated by the public health doctor, burdening the system, since the treatment provided does not solve his illness, but maintains it.

So where is the economy of privatization? Is it worth keeping such a situation at the expense of someone else’s health?

The United States of America is a good example, it has a high cost in public health, but only part of the population has access to health. (SILVA; 2012), leads us thinking that one of the most important governments, where the privatization of health is the flagship, does not obtain satisfactory results of care for the population, making it difficult for the population to access health care centers. The privatization influences the quality of public health. Privatization offers better health conditions, and this is undeniable, since the constant search for improvement in the offered product is constant, to maintain the company that supplies the product, service in the competitive market. However, the way this impacts the social, diverting the responsibility of care and attention to the health of the population, guaranteed by human rights, is neglected, affecting public health.


Silva CG. Análise comparativa das características dos sistemas de saúde nas Américas. [Trabalho de Conclusão de Curso de Gestão de Políticas Públicas da Escola de Artes, Ciências e Humanidades]. São Paulo: Universidade de São Paulo; 2012. Available in:

About the author

Paula Laderuski Wolf, 23 years old, a fouth-year medical student at Unicesumar Brazil –
Maringá(Paraná). Lover of the course of Medicina and the IFMSA. Founder and ex vice
president of the Maringaense Academic League of Geriatra and Gerontology at Unicesumar. Participation in I Seminário Regional de Ciências da Saúde. RELATO DE EXPERIÊNCIA: VISITA DOMICILIAR À IDOSO FRAGILIZADO. 2018. (Seminário).



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