It is no secret that some countries offer better healthcare than others. Some have socialized medicine, some have public and private medicine and some have Universal care. Because healthcare is such an important resource, many countries have poured a great amount of funding, engineering and research behind their healthcare system. Those countries that prioritize healthcare, often do have the best health systems. Other times, it is more affluent nations that have the ability to provide advanced care for its citizens. Either way, it is clear that there are countries with superior care options than others. But how do we measure this? Are all countries being judged fairly?
A study conducted by Siemens in January of 2015 thought that by measuring the quality and accessibility of healthcare facilities in different countries, we could better define what ‘good’ healthcare actually means. In one graph, they measured the number of hospital beds per 1000 people. This aimed to see which countries have invested in helping and providing access to the greatest number of people.
And then they showed a chart of the countries with the most access to improved sanitation. By this, they intend to show the correlation between countries that have the resources to create improved sanitation technology, and those that have the wherewithal to provide superior medical access and facilities to its people.
These two figures show that we cannot view healthcare in a vacuum. It is obvious that the wealthier countries have the better healthcare systems- at face value. But we cannot judge a developing country against an economic superpower country because their resources are not equal. This is why, many developing countries do not get the aid that they need to advance because they are discriminated against. They are viewed as less than, and thus makes it harder for them to improve. It is sad that, as a global community, we are so focused on ‘being the best’ instead of helping those in need. It is important to remember for people that live in countries with superior healthcare to remember that there is more we can do to help developing countries give their people the care that they need.
Healthcare, along with the idea of the government funded healthcare, is an extremely prevalent issue in our nation today. I think it’s important to understand the different aspects of healthcare in every country, and to uncover, as your whole post mentions—that not all healthcare is the same. As you have discussed, healthcare and money go hand in hand. The amount of money a nation has is correlated with their resources, and thus correlated with the value of their healthcare. I think it would be interesting to analyze the United States’ role in this, and how we can help underdeveloped countries allocate these resources to ensure proper healthcare for all citizens.
It is so important that you highlighted the idea that we, as a highly developed country, are focused on being the best and beating records and we fail to use our power for good. Yes, our healthcare system in the U.S. has some obstacles and it is far from perfect but we could be doing so much more to aid developing nations in improving their systems. Doctors Without Borders USA describes the organization as an international medical humanitarian organization however their annual revenue is 191.4 million USD which makes me think that they could be doing much more in the form of aid instead of revenue.
Healthcare is such a politically hot topic these days that it’s difficult to have the necessary discussions about it. Many would prefer to avoid the issue entirely, rather than potentially come across a critic or someone who disagrees with their positions. The result is that these conversations either never happen, or when they do they stray far off the intended purpose. It’s clear that, in a country where we can’t even hold the necessary conversations about our own healthcare systems, we’re never going to progress to the point of having conversations about helping other countries with theirs. Avoiding the conversations as a result of fear alone is a shame, and it costs lives as a result.
Healthcare is such an interesting topic, especially when looking at it from an international point of view. Last year when I studied in Spain, many spaniards would talk to me about how horrible they perceived American healthcare to be. Most people there were very proud of their healthcare system. It was impressive that mostly everyone has access to it, but as your graph shows, that is not uncommon in European countries.