Last Updated on March 9, 2021 by Filip Poutintsev
Free healthcare is the social influencing concept where everyone deserves the right to seek a healthy life whatever their economic or social status occurs to be.
Whether you admit it or not, the healthcare system has become a multibillion-dollar worth business that solely targets extracting money from people. Even when a cure to numerous diseases has been found, numerous patients are, simply, left helpless due to economic restraints. As a result, few countries started the provision of free healthcare services to eliminate the unfairness.
The strategy of the free healthcare system is to ensure that every citizen, from any socio-economic background, has proper access to health services at a minimal cost or no cost at all. The free healthcare system has a remarkable impact on the overall socio and economic environment of the nation.
These services are run by the government through payroll taxes you pay. Even though, every citizen gets access to health facilities, implementing it can degrade the quality of service provided instead.
A Brief History of Free Healthcare
Before free healthcare services were introduced, the National health insurance system started in Germany in the year 1883, which was called the Sickness Insurance Law. The industrial companies would deduct a certain amount of salary from the workers and save it as their sick funds.
Then in 1911, U.K passed the National insurance act but it only provided primary healthcare. Finally, in 1912, Norway introduced free healthcare to Yemen where a conflict was raging and made it impossible for international relief agencies to provide health care services. After World war II, numerous countries including Sweden, Canada, Denmark implemented the new system where the government covered the finance.
Pros and Cons of free Healthcare
The primary concern with the free healthcare system is the rapid increase in the number of patients, making one wonder, how will the government-run if they’re short of budget? Or will the services be cut? Or will people be charged more for service instead? Or do people really benefit from it or is it simply another mere business strategy? Find out more about free healthcare services pros and cons in this article.
What are the Advantages of Free Healthcare?
The free healthcare system brings numerous positive outcomes and benefits. Let’s take a further look:
1. Free Health Care Lowers Costs
When compared with the free-market system, free healthcare services lower cost drastically. Basically, you won’t have to worry about the doctor’s fee. Every treatment provided to you is free. This means that even people who couldn’t afford to pay the fees can get equal quality of services.
2. Free Healthcare Eliminates Unnecessary Competition
Health services providers are in never-ending competition with each other. It’s a known fact that the health sector has changed into a business. Subsequently, their goal changed too and are seen rather concerned about the number of patients than the quality of their service. Moreover, they aim at attracting rich people who willingly pay hefty bills, ignoring the condition of those who can’t afford it.
3. Free Healthcare Lowers Administrative Expenses
In a free-market economy, doctors have to deal with a myriad number of private agencies in order to purchase the required medical resources. Under free healthcare, the government acts as an agency that controls the price. This means that medicines can be bought in bulks and the doctors won’t have to waste time negotiating with any private agencies.
4. Free Healthcare Improves Child Health
For children, proper health care is vital as they’re at a higher risk of developing complications and diseases. When financial incentives are provided to parents, children from any economic background gain access to health facilities. As a result, they’re spared from numerous diseases enabling them to lead a healthier life and contribute to the development of society.
5. Free Healthcare Boosts the Economy
The impact of health on the socio-economic system of a country is clear. Countries, where people can afford healthcare, have stronger economies and vice versa. Free healthcare allows every citizen access to health treatments. Subsequently, increasing the productivity of people and having a direct effect on the nation’s economy.
6. Free Healthcare Saves Lives
Furthermore, thousands of lives are saved through this service. Early symptoms can be recognized and diagnosed by doctors. As a result, numerous diseases are prevented. On top of that, numerous patients who may not be able to afford health services even in critical condition can easily go to the hospital for treatment.
Cons of Free Healthcare
So, what are the disadvantages of having access to free healthcare? Let’s dig further into it:
1. Free Healthcare Prioritizes Chronic Diseases
Almost 90% of the budget is spent on chronic illness which is related to lifestyle choices. The whole system is funded through the taxes paid by the citizens. So, this basically means you’re paying for others’ treatment too which sounds a bit unfair.
2. Free Healthcare Can Degrade Quality of Service
The number of patients will spike instantly once the health care services get free. So, the doctors and nurses have to work day and night on a busy schedule. This means their goal changes into treating as many patients as possible rather than properly diagnosing them. As a result, the quality of service drastically reduces.
3. Free Healthcare Makes People Irresponsible
When financial incentives are provided, people are most likely to ignore their health. Rather than focusing on getting fit, eating healthy, and taking proper precautions, people start having an unhealthy lifestyle. Simply, because they have easy access to free healthcare services if any issues arise.
4. Free Healthcare Takes Most of the Government’s Budget
Though the free healthcare service is funded through taxes, the healthcare system is remarkably expensive. Free healthcare services can take up to 40% of their budget. They might have to cut off budget separated from other government services such as education.
5. Free Healthcare Results in Longer Waiting Period
The free healthcare system makes the hospitals busier. In order to book an appointment with any specialist, you might have to wait for weeks. It’s considered normal to have to wait for 3 to 4 weeks for your appointment. However, with a free-market system, you wouldn’t have to wait for such a prolonged period of time.
To conclude, there are proponents of free healthcare who strongly point out that the services provided are equitable and efficient. One cannot deny that it’s extremely important to have access to health services.
However, there are oppositions too who claim otherwise. It cannot be denied that free healthcare, also, degrades the quality of service and makes people less concerned about their health.