In the current world as of May 22, 2018, heath is not a human right. While universal health care exists within over 30 countries currently, health is still not a right; even in populations with universal health care, many factors dictate the type of care that individuals are able to receive. According to the World Health Organization, health is a human right, but in my view, that is not upheld or substantiated in the world that I reside in. Everyone should be able to access affordable health care, but that is not the case. Health, in my mind, should be an obvious right. If someone is sick or hurt, they should receive quality care that every human deserves, regardless of social status, race, gender, ethnicity, beliefs, etc.
I have never considered health in a global sense this; I have always been healthy and received treatment when I was sick. My thinking has quickly evolved to realizing that health is not a right in the world, as it is based on class status, socio-economics, politics, and consumerism. In this current moment, I know that if I were to fall ill, get injured, or need preventative health care I would be able to quickly access the quality care that I needed, without much effort; however, this is not the case for many individuals. I am able to access health care because of the middle class suburban life that I have been guided to live, in order to receive these benefits. I have been awakened to the realization that this is not the case for most of the people who live in nearby neighborhoods, in the United States, and across the globe.
In the United States, in my experience, health care insurance is based on if your job provides health insurance, if you qualify for Medicare, or if you don’t you have to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket for a policy. In my own life, I was under my step-father’s insurance until he divorced my mother, causing my mother to have to spend ten thousand dollars in 2013 for healthcare that she purchased through the Healthcare Marketplace, that was required of her, or she would have to face a fine through the government for not having healthcare. In the United States, there are currently 28 million people without any health insurance; breaking an arm would cause for 28 million people to be in medical debt!
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Working out of the Department of Health and Human Services has enlightened me to the fact that health care is prioritized for those who are actively involved with law enforcement or the government. I am discouraged by this, as care (for example, substance abuse treatment) is difficult to get as these most beds are for nonviolent offenders that need to have met certain criteria that may be difficult for some to meet. The government allocates the funds for these health care programs, and it is not an essential right, Maine recently only received 2 million dollars from DHHS when it is estimated that it will take over 6 million to fund the needed programs. In the United States, more individuals utilize healthcare once they receive Medicaid (as most individuals in the US are able to receive this after they turn compared to when they were required to use private insurance. Health should be able to be easily accessed and affordable for every human on this planet.
Health should be defined by social work by the following: individuals should have a right to receive health care when they need it, where they need it, with the availability to choose a provider based on fit of personality, gender, race, ethnicity, beliefs, etc. This should not be limited to urgent care, but should expand to mental health, addiction, and disability. Social class, status, or geographical location should not dictate the quality of care one receives. While I agree with what the WHO’s factsheet on human rights and health, and IFSW health Policy, I am dismayed by the lack of accountability. The rules and ideas are nice on paper, but who is the one who is following through and making sure that these rights are being followed through on? There needs to be a checks and balance system that exists within health rights that currently does not exist, in my estimation.
Just making changes in health insurance ability is not enough of a change to sustain the changes that need to happen for health to be a right. Even in places where universal health care exists, problems still happen within these systems. My friend from Sweden reports to me that she has basic healthcare, but that dental is not included, and some people pay for additional insurance for extra benefits. It seems that this is the case for most countries with “universal health care”, there are certain things that are required, like general health insurance, but additional things, like prescriptions and dental are not covered. In Canada, they have universal health care and found that there are still barriers to access to health. This included a lack of programs that support access and education to healthcare, as well as a lack of trust in their healthcare workers.
As mentioned in Unnatural Causes, health is not limited to getting physical care, but is also related to access to healthy foods and environments. I cannot help but to feel ill reading that the royal wedding cost more than forty million dollars, but there are more than eight hundred million people in the world without access regular food or water . I understand that we are all ego-centric humans, and we live in a competitive world, but how are we all okay with the way that things are? I cannot just quit my job and change the world alone (as much as I wish this were an option); it is going to take a social movement and global awakening about the way we have allowed our world to be shaped and controlled. How do we say, “this just is not working for us anymore”? We can accomplish this by publishing the injustices that are occurring in the world, and encouraging everyone to start advocating for change, with peace and communication.
While I certainly do not have the answers, I have been thinking about steps that could aid in improvements across the world. Education can lead to change. In the United States, they have found that individuals educated by using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) have led to individuals making healthier choices around their food. While nutrition is related to health, continuing the conversation to include education about accessing healthcare is a way to implement change. There need to be serious changes to the healthcare system in the world, let alone in America. In my current state of Maine, it is incredibly difficult to find mental health support with the exception of websites like Psychology Today.
There is no unified source of providers, and in my estimation and experience, this makes it incredibly difficult to navigate resources, as they are not accessible to find! Creating positions in our community that are professionals at finding health care resources would be a unique way to have individuals be able to locate the type of healthcare they need, without having to guess. In my opinion, the world needs to come together and address the serious problems that are going on. Government needs to address policies that are impacting those without access to resources and social workers continue to need to advocate for these changes to happen.
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General Health Care Factors. (2023, Feb 14). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/general-health-care-factors/