Should Healthcare Be Free?
Do you think proper medical healthcare, free of cost, is a human right? As per a healthcare affordability survey in 2021, around 49% of adults with an annual household income of fewer than 24,000 USD were “cost insecure.” Hence, multiple debates are going on about “should healthcare be free?”
Sometimes, bearing expensive medical costs is impossible for people due to financial reasons. In addition, only some have access to medical insurance. Free healthcare means that everyone will be able to get much-needed medical help without any costs. However, free healthcare also comes with its downsides.
Providing free healthcare services to people worldwide can be difficult, considering the finances and policies. Hence comes the question, “Should healthcare be free?” The answer can only be understood if we understand the advantages and disadvantages of free healthcare. After all, every coin has 2 sides to it. Let’s check out the pros and cons of free and universal healthcare below.
Pros of Free Healthcare
Free medical services have several benefits, especially from the patient’s point of view. Let’s check them out:
#1. Lower Cost
The first thing, as you may have noticed, is that patients and their families would be free from the burden of paying heavy bills for treatments. It would be especially beneficial for families going through a financial crisis who can’t afford treatment independently. In this case, the government is paying their bills, and they can stay stress-free from paying the bills.
#2. Decreased Administrative Cost
Due to universal healthcare, there would be a direct connection between healthcare providers and patients without needing third-party administrators. As a result, the money they require to administer the care plans would no longer be needed.
In addition, healthcare staff wouldn’t have to spend their time and energy collecting payments for the treatments. Hence, they can provide more time to take care of the patients.
#3. Increased Demand for Medical Services
As there would be no costs for healthcare, more and more people would become willing to go for medical services. This can increase medical awareness and increase the demand for medical services.
As a result, everyone needing health checkups and treatment will get access to medical services and have more consciousness of healthcare.
Yes, free medical services can save the lives of thousands of people who wouldn’t have been able to afford costly healthcare treatments. Several early symptoms can be recognized, which can lead to earlier treatments and more chances of faster recovery. In addition, numerous patients can get treatments even in critical conditions.
#5. Lower Chances of Bankruptcy
Free healthcare services can lessen the risks of bankruptcy. In addition, healthcare costs are the major reason behind bankruptcy in the USA. However, if all the healthcare services and medical expenses of people get government-funded, people would be less likely to go bankrupt. Further, people will also be able to go for self-employment and startup.
Cons Of Free Healthcare
Should healthcare be free? Well, the pros mentioned above show that it should be valuable. However, there’s the other side of the coin. Let’s see what downsides it can bring.
#1. Pressure on Society
When there is no cost of healthcare services, the government would have to obtain them from somewhere. As a result, it can lead to increased taxes. Hence, the richer would have to pay more taxes so that people could get their free treatments. In addition, healthy people would only consume about 3% of the healthcare costs.
Meanwhile, people with chronic diseases would require more than half the amount of the costs. As a result, it can lead to uneven balance, and those who don’t need much healthcare services would also have to pay taxes.
#2. Degraded Service Quality
Free services would increase the number of patients. As a result, the demand for healthcare workers would also spike, and they would have to work day and night endlessly. Instead of focusing on proper diagnosis, they would aim to treat more patients.
#3. Longer Waiting Time
With the number of patients rising, hospitals and healthcare professionals will become busier. This may lead to longer waiting periods for appointments and even treatments. Sometimes, people would even have to wait for weeks to meet with a medical specialist for their diagnosis.
#4. Take Up Government’s Budget
Even though free healthcare services may get somewhat covered through taxes, they can be quite expensive. As a result, the government would have to take out a part of its budget for the healthcare sector. This can result in lower budgets for other sectors of the nation, such as education.
Hence, even though healthcare costs would be free, people may encounter problems in other sectors.
Should Healthcare Be Free?
Deciding whether healthcare should be free or not can be quite difficult. However, the fact remains that free healthcare services can be beneficial for patients who require affordable medical services. However, it can also lead to degraded quality since the same number of healthcare professionals would have to treat more patients.
As stated earlier, they would focus more on treating many patients than providing proper treatment. However, those in financial crisis can benefit from universal medical treatment.
Here, healthcare should not be free. Instead, it can be better if it’s made free for those in need and in financial crisis. The government should focus on providing more schemes for financially ill people.
Healthcare is an essential sector in every nation. Several people want healthcare services to become free. As eye-catching as this idea seems, it can lead to certain consequences and imbalances.
Hence, we can say that healthcare services shouldn’t be free, but some privileges must be provided to those in need. I hope this article answers your question, “Should healthcare be free?”