Public Health equality in a trench


(Martha Dominguez de Gouveia, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. WUNDE Njineck URBAINE, a medial student at the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Bamenda, Cameroon. He 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.

The health system in Cameroon is highly diversified, and entry into the business landscape seems to be very easy and accessible. The sector can be grossly divided into the public and private sector. The private sector is divided into the confessional subsector,the corporate subsector and the individualised subsectors.

Health privitization in most low and middle income countries definitely has brought about some sense of inequality in this industry, given the cost of private health care is much more exorbitant than it is the case with public health care. It is undeniably true that the quality of health services in these private sectors is considerably higher than it is the case in the public sector. However, this brings about stratification in the populations, making the less-rich to constantly have the feeling their health care is not upto standard  (when compared with those in the private wards however).

This has a propensity to result to another health challenge – the psychosocial well-being of the patient. Is he/she secure,safe about what is being administered to him/her as health services? Of course there is a health inequality.

Recently in Cameroon, there has been a talk everywhere about Universal health coverage. This is an attempt by policy to equalise standards and make health care affordable and available to all at a minimum cost. It is equally true that presently, many Cameroonians are informed about health insurance and as a matter of fact,most have subscribed on the lists of most insurance companies, given most employers emphasize  this aspect on their contracts with their workers, to ensure the health of their workforce and as a matter of fact, sign partnerships with these insurance  companies. How then do these affect investment in public health? Public health units in Cameroon are the major health tenets, as a result, governments budgeting on these have been amended to suit the change.

It is true however in most economies that the government does not seek to compete the private sector. But the case in Cameroon has been lot different; for the past few months the standards and investments on public health have been on the rise, with government paying particular attention to the welfare of patients. But this doesn’t mean the government in this sector has outsmarted the private and especially  confessional subsector, who have left no stone within their capacities unturned in favour of aiding the betterment of healthcare services. As a matter of fact, government actions set the pace for other actors in the sector to make positive amends in their services, hence making them more expensive.

This mere fact brings about inequality in the health sector but does not necessarily impair investment in public health. The health system as at now is yet  for equality talk less of equity. The reality is indeed a sad one, where the reality places the well-to-do at a far top with all the opportunities,and the less wealthy in an actual trench, far below the standards for primary health care. The image below may serve as an analogy to express my opinion about the state of equality on the healthcare platform. Equality in terms of health care in Cameroon is still a myth,talk less of equity. The reality has it that the priviledged even go as far as taking on the advantages and benefits of the masses to enrich themselves and secure for themselves high standard and cost, mostly at the profit of private or multinational bodies in the health care system. The effect on this on investment and government budgeting on public health is not documented,but has not been known to make any marked variations in these aspects.

We hope that in time and with time, investment in public health infrastructure and personnel will increase, at the benefit of even the peasant population everywhere at all time.

About the author

Mr. WUNDE Njineck URBAINE, M.S. is a medial student at the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Bamenda, Technical Adviser #2 at the Medical students association in this same university. He is affiliated to IFMSA and was the 1st 2019 Professor Erik Holst Scholar. He is passionate about service to humanity first and is poised towards attaining peculiar goals in the field of medicine and beyond. He relies on his efforts coupled with those of his team members to bring a betterment in health care delivery in Cameroon.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

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

Main results of European Council of 18/10/2018

Tributes for ‘role model’ former UN refugee agency chief, Sadako Ogata

EU4FairWork: Commission launches campaign to tackle undeclared work

5 lessons from China on how to drive sustainable growth

3 reasons why Singapore is the smartest city in the world

Can a Bavarian Oktoberfest beer indulger bring down the Berlin government?

Northern Ireland: Parliament wants to secure post-Brexit regional funding

What if big-tech companies became non-profits?

Gender equality, justice in law and practice: Essential for sustainable development

Poland: attacks on media freedom and the EU legal order need to stop

‘No safe way’ into battle-scarred Afghan city of Ghazni to deliver aid as traumatized children search for parents

The role of medical students in promoting women’s rights

Threat to biodiversity risks a flood of economic ruin

We asked young people about work and skills. Here’s what they told us

‘Severe’ new US asylum restrictions will put vulnerable families at risk, UN refugee agency says

A new global platform to unleash entrepreneurs on the world’s toughest problems

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

Commission disburses €14.1 billion under SURE to 12 Member States

Is a deal over EU budget possible today?

Reflections on the the biggest refugee crisis since World War II

Knowledge is power: why the future is not just about the tech

These deepwater fish farms could help natural stocks recover

Gas pipeline in the European Union. (Copyright: EU, 2012 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Ferenc Isza)

EU Investment Bank approves € 1.5bn loan for Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP)

Big tech cannot crack down on online hate alone. We need to fund the smaller players

These are the next big products in consumer technology

Macao: EU reports on political and economic developments in 2020

Delivering masks across borders: EU Single Market protecting citizens’ health

Trade and sustainability: Commission proposes new EU Generalised Scheme of Preferences to promote sustainable development in low-income countries

This is the biggest risk we face with AI, by Google CEO Sundar Pichai

Can agroforestry save India’s rivers and the farms that depend on them?

Eurozone: Bankers-politicians rig keeps robbing taxpayers

Who should be responsible for protecting our personal data?

How COVID-19 is ending the stigma of online learning

Bankruptcy or referendum: which one is going to be first?

The time for cities to get smart is now

Bangladesh elections: Hold those responsible accountable for ‘violent attacks and intimidation’

The great sustainable reset: The new world of work after the pandemic

Turning Europe into a giant wind farm could power the entire world

State aid: Commission approves over €1 billion support for high-efficient cogeneration of electricity and heat in Slovakia

Robot inventors are on the rise. But are they welcomed by the patent system?

6 steps every country must take now to prevent coronavirus deaths: WHO Director-General

How universities can become a platform for social change

Why rent controls won’t solve the urban housing crisis

COP24: World sports join team UN in race against climate change

Industrial policy: recommendations to support Europe’s leadership in six strategic business areas

Inaction on obesity stands in the way of sustainable development

European Commission 2020 Work Programme: An ambitious roadmap for a Union that strives for more

One person dies by suicide every 40 seconds: new UN health agency report

International Day of the Midwife: 5 things you should know

Human health – litmus paper for the climate change?

Green Deal: Commission adopts new Chemicals Strategy towards a toxic-free environment

Latin America is a mass-transit powerhouse. But it needs fine-tuning

Australia’s record heatwave: From fainting tennis players to dead fish

This Chilean start-up is revolutionizing reusable packaging

Here’s how to achieve an optimal student/tutor ratio

‘Water-forecasting’ and fish farms fed on waste: how innovation is driving the blue economy

Can medical students be prepared for Global Health ethical issues?

Q&A: A on the EU COVID-19 certificate

‘Virtual Biopsy’ device detects skin tumours in 15 minutes

EU fight against tax-evasion and money laundering blocked by Britain

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

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

You are commenting using your 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