Interesting to note those countries with the most wealth are struggling when it comes to their nation’s health. It is not those with the most resources that have succeeded in providing health on the basis of equality. Of course an unhealthy nation is exceedingly costly as people fall sick. It not only can cost them but the aggregate cost to the economy is massive. Yet the free market economy priorities don’t heed this even though it is well understood.
President Obama’s attempted health reforms are showing the fault lines between interest groups battling for supremacy in health care for the nation. Drug and insurance companies hold sway not just in the USA but everywhere the free market rules.
In the UK it has been apparent for several years now that the involvement of private companies and the free market has accelerated under New Labour. Margaret Thatcher could hardly have dreamt of the success of the reforms under her leadership taken on lock, stock and barrel by the party supposed to have toppled her. It may have thrown her out but her policies didn’t go with her.
The reforms of the health service are characterised by complex, inefficient and very expensive management (unamanagable?) systems. The money has gone into bureaucracy rather than health care. Now the market is syphoning yet more money out as profit for those very interests threatening the U.S. reforms. One simple solution suggested was to look at Cuba. How had a country with such limited resources managed not only to fund its much admired health-care but to export doctors and nurses widely across the world? One lesson is that prevention is a high priority. If the nation is healthy then the cost lowers dramatically. Britain is unhealthy and unequal in spite of the original intentions of the once visionary NHS.
Countries like Venezuela are also placing a high priority on health reform and equality. An example is the newly set up centre for people with diisabilities to ensure they are assisted to take advantage of education and jobs.