The importance of health and well-being cannot be overstated. The aging population has become a much more common issue everywhere. It’s no wonder that health care has become a hot and contested topic in politics. As we all know, older people are more vulnerable to diseases.
The world needs people who are healthy enough to work but also healthy enough not to get sick or injured while doing so. You know what, when we’re young, our parents often tell us about their lives when they were younger than us. We see how hard life was back then. They often talk about working long hours without any holidays.
Nowadays, many of them have jobs that allow them to spend time with their families. However, some of these same older people will likely suffer from heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and other diseases.
In general, people want to live long and happy lives. But what does ‘happy’ mean? It means nothing if you don’t have good health. This is why having a good and sustainable health care system is more important than ever.
Inequality exists among nations. Some countries can provide access to quality and affordable health care at low prices, whereas others may not even offer basic medications needed by patients. And in these countries without good health care access, those who don’t have insurance coverage must pay out of pocket for expensive treatments.
This problem affects millions of people all around the world, and the problem only becomes more apparent after the recent pandemic. In addition to the financial burden on individuals, there are costs associated with lost productivity due to illness and disability.
If global spending on health increased from 5.8% today to 8% or 10%, it would save around one billion people around the globe from common diseases.
It’s clear that healthcare is very important to many aspects of society. So why isn’t everything done to ensure that every person has access to affordable quality healthcare?
Why Having Good Healthcare Is Important
There are several reasons why healthcare is important. First off, I believe that healthcare should be considered part of human rights because humans deserve adequate health and hygiene conditions.
Second, healthcare benefits both workers and employers. Employees benefit from healthcare because employees tend to take fewer days away from work for doctor appointments and recover faster after surgeries.
Employers benefit from healthier employees since they won’t miss so much work and therefore won’t cost companies money since the employees will work more.
Thirdly, healthcare helps lower crime rates since criminals typically target the elderly, disabled, and poor people. Therefore, improving healthcare makes sense economically and socially. Finally, healthcare allows economies to grow. Healthy citizens lead to stronger economic growth via higher labor force participation rates.
However, despite its obvious importance, healthcare still suffers from problems like rising premiums, increasing wait times, and substandard patient experiences. Let’s look at three areas where improvements need to occur.
Improving Care Delivery
Hospitals and doctors’ offices across America treat far too many unnecessary tests, procedures, and visits which end up costing hundreds of dollars per visit. To combat this wasteful practice, hospitals and clinics should implement electronic clinical decision support systems to help reduce inappropriate testing.
This new system shows physicians exactly what tests are appropriate to order based upon certain criteria. A study conducted by researchers affiliated with Harvard Medical School found that these types of systems reduced overall Medicare spending annually.
Another way to cut down on excessive utilization of resources and expenses is to use telemedicine programs to connect patients with specialists instead of driving them miles into cities to seek care.
By using technology, patients can communicate directly with providers rather than waiting weeks in clinic lines. Telemedicine programs enable doctors to perform remote consultations and conduct routine exams. While it won’t solve problems that require a physical visit to the doctor’s office, it would help to solve half of the problems.
Many private insurers deny claims for co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles. While these denials might seem fair, they actually increase the amount of money spent on individual items.
Instead, insurers should consider offering discounts to plans which include comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive policies typically cover everything from office visits, prescriptions, dental/vision, chiropractics, wellness checks, lab tests, etc.
Many uninsured individuals buy cheaper “catastrophic” insurance plans which only cover major illnesses. Because catastrophic plans generally exclude necessary items, they end up draining consumers’ bank accounts unnecessarily. Moreover, these plans frequently set annual caps on total payments made for specific services, thus limiting consumer choice.
Making Accessible Services More Affordable
According to Forbes Magazine, the United States spends twice as much per capita on healthcare compared to other wealthy countries. Some states spend more per resident than residents of poorer countries spend on food. That’s crazy.
One reason why this happens is because of skyrocketing prescription drug prices. As a result of this trend, Americans now spend twice as much on drugs as Europeans and Canadians combined. Clearly, something must change.
One solution is to enact value-based pricing models whereby manufacturers charge reasonable amounts for new products. Furthermore, public subsidies should be used along with value-based pricing to encourage competition and drive down costs.
Lastly, federal laws should be enacted to require pharmaceutical manufacturers to disclose information regarding list price increases and rebates received. Since manufacturers often negotiate large volume deals with pharmacies, they can jack up prices substantially even though sales representatives try to convince customers otherwise.
Good healthcare is vital for maintaining a strong economy. Improving access, lowering costs, and providing transparency regarding service charges will go a long way toward helping to solve the healthcare crisis.
Thanks for reading! Please share this article with anyone interested in learning more about the importance of healthcare. We at IOP will always try our best to educate you since healthcare (like I said at the beginning of this article) is one of the most debated topics in modern days. Feel free to leave comments below. All feedback is greatly appreciated.