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The question of whether or not to provide citizens with free healthcare is still one that is deeply troubling. In fact, providing care to all of a country's citizens constitutes free healthcare. In order to protect people from financial risk, ensure their access to healthcare, and achieve high-quality results, free healthcare centers on providing a number of benefits to citizens of a nation. According to the World Health Organization, universal access to health care means that anyone can receive treatments without having to worry about paying for them. The paper will provide an argument supporting the provision of health services for all, consider the counter-arguments and conclude by defending the position stating that free healthcare is a right to citizens and must be provided by the government.
My argument for the thesis is based on the following premises;
P1: The provision of free healthcare provides the extension of care to the citizens of a country.
P2: Reduction of medical cost in a country.
P3: It improves the public health of a community.
P4: There is an increased economy in a country that provides free healthcare for people.
C: Therefore, free healthcare is not a privilege but a right to the citizens.
The argument is deductive as it aims at deriving the conclusion from the reasoning that has been provided. In particular, the conclusion will necessarily follow from premises and inferences. The logical reasoning is based on the four premises which validate the rationale behind the provision of free healthcare for all. The argument is valid, and all the premises are true. Therefore, the conclusion follows the same outline.
The first premise stating that the provision of free healthcare provides the extension of care to the citizens of a country is common understanding. In Powell-Jackson (2014), the provision of free healthcare increased the use of formal healthcare. Thus, citizens can have access to proper care across the country resulting in an improvement of their physical well-being. The free care is helpful since it promotes the health of the entire population in the country. The sentiments are echoed in Testa and Block (2013, p. 107), who note that it is the mandate of the government to provide free social services including healthcare to its citizens. Consequently, the provision of healthcare should be a right that is enjoyed by the people.
The second premise, reduction of medical cost in a country, is an issue that is obvious to those with the privilege of enjoying free healthcare. In general, patients who are unable to access health services promptly are likely to experience the worsening of a condition. The effect is an increase in the overall medical cost as more resources are needed to deal with the deterioration of the condition. In Hatfield (2006), the cost of healthcare in the United States continues to increase. However, with the adoption of plans such as the Consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs) which has an element of free health services, medical costs have been on a decline compared to what is witnessed in the United States.
The third premise upholds a fundamental issue which focuses on the public health of a given community. Indeed, a society that is characterized by healthy people can engage in meaningful socio-economic activities. Furthermore, the public can prioritize on other components such as social well-being since they have an assurance of accessing free healthcare.
Finally, the last premise points to the increased economy in a country that provides free healthcare to all its citizens. Indeed, economic growth in any given country depends on how healthy its citizens are. For example, a healthy population will mean that the labor market is composed of individuals who have physical well-being and ability to execute their mandate at the workplace. According to Merill et al., (2013), poor health has an adverse impact on the productivity of an employee at any given age.
In acknowledging the significance of the concept of free healthcare for all, it is vital to determine the counterarguments presented on the other side. In essence, it is worth questioning the reasons why one would refute an argument that proposes the provision of free healthcare to all.
The first premise of the counter argument is a fact because the delivery of free health services is expensive and strains the government. In some cases, it may not achieve it without implementing some strategies (Cook, 2015). For the government to raise a significant amount of money, it ends up raising the taxes which it collects from its citizens. In some cases, the taxes collected may not be enough to provide free health care this calls for the government to borrow money from the word bank this leads to the increase of the national debt. It is one of the major arguments by the people who are against the provision of free health care.
The second premise of discouragement competition and innovation. The delivery of free health care may end up discouraging the innovation of better ways to provide health services. The lack of competition will lead to entrepreneur becoming reluctant as they are no free will in the economy. It may also reduce the amount of salary the doctors of a country earn reducing the passion of students who want to pursue medicine. It can be a dangerous problem for a country as in the long run the number of doctors will reduce significantly creating a shortage.
The third premise of long waiting time: when the government provides free healthcare to it citizens it may end up putting it citizens to longer waits in the hospitals. It is because the healthcare is extended to everyone, which may cause the citizens to be used as too often. The health personnel’s may lack the passion and urgency to attend to the citizens because of the low salaries which come hand in hand with free health care. It will cause the patients to wait for a very long time before they are attended to (Bell, 2008).
The fourth premise is the degradation of the health services. It is because of the poor services with comes in hand with free healthcare. In free healthcare, health officers do not offer the standard services.
In addressing the objections that have been raised, it is vital to consider whether or not the cost of free healthcare for all in a country outweighs that of not providing the same services to the citizens. In particular, it is crucial to acknowledge the outcomes of failure to provide free healthcare to the people while considering the impact of disregarding the argument. Indeed, there is no denying the fact that free healthcare for all could serve as a measure of the physical well-being of a given country. The existence of a significant percentage of individuals lacking health care services results in increased cost of spending in the health sector. The government needs to prioritize on aspects of fundamental significance including proper health care to citizens and seek ways of funding the same. The notion of increased taxing is a fallacy, as the government can reduce spending in other sectors to support healthcare. Furthermore, with the enactment of appropriate taxation strategies, the government can sufficiently support the idea of free healthcare to all.
In response to the notion of competition and innovation, consideration should be made to the fact that systems are in place which has established the recommended standards of healthcare in any given country. For example, organizations such as the World Health Organization, have established minimum acceptable levels for healthcare structures (WHO, 2014). Also, individual countries have agencies which regulate the conduct of healthcare organizations and the manner in which such services need to be executed. Therefore, free health services can be accorded to all citizens in line with the existing standards of care. In fact, the provision of free healthcare will instead promote competition as the private entities strive to match the services provided by the public sector. Also, the response addresses the issue of degradation of health services as there is more oversight from government agencies in charge of health.
Finally, in responding to the issue of longer waiting times, it is worth questioning the nobility of denying people health services for fear of the identified concerns. For example, the fact that people can wait for long times before accessing the services means that there is a guarantee of being attended to. However, in a scenario where there is no free healthcare for all, it would be impossible to witness long waiting times, but instead high morbidity and mortality rates. Consequently, the argument on longer duration of waiting to be attended to, should not form the basis for the objection to such an act. Instead, measures should be taken to ensure free healthcare services that are readily available to all and of the highest standards possible.
Indeed, doubts exist regarding whether or not the provision of free healthcare services should be a right or privilege to citizens of a country. It is worth considering the overwhelming argument that supports the adoption of free healthcare services for all. However, consideration should be made to the impact of such an approach on the overall state of a country. The paper deductively presents a case which leads to a conclusion on why it is vital to have individuals access free healthcare services. The denial of such services means disregard to a universal right to which all citizens should freely enjoy. In general, the government has the mandate of ensuring that they focus putting in place frameworks that would in the long-run guarantee free healthcare to all services. Evidently, the decision to provide free access to health services has outstanding benefits. Despite the identified objections, the realization of such an objective is feasible through collaboration with different sectors in government. All in all, the deductive argument leads to the conclusion that free healthcare should be a service that is available to all citizens.
Bell, J., & Breslin, J. M. (2008). Healthcare provider moral distress as a leadership challenge. JONA'S healthcare law, ethics and regulation, 10(4), 94-97.
Cook, J., MacLennan, G., Murray, D., Price, A., Fitzpatrick, R., Carr, A…. & Davies, L. (2015).
Hatfield, R. D. (2006). INNOVATION IN EMPLOYER HEALTH COVERAGE: THE CONSUMER DRIVEN HEALTH PLAN (CDHP) AT LOGAN ALUMINUM. Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies, 12(3), 7-18. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/216298634?accountid=32521
Merrill, R. M., Aldana, S. G., Pope, J. E., Anderson, D. R., Coberley, C. R., Grossmeier, J. J., & Whitmer, R. W. (2013). Self-rated job performance and absenteeism according to employee engagement, health behaviors, and physical health. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine, 55(1), 10-18.
Powell-Jackson, T., Hanson, K., Whitty, C. J., & Ansah, E. K. (2014). Who benefits from free healthcare? Evidence from a randomized experiment in Ghana. Journal of Development Economics, 107, 305-319.
Testa, P., & Block, W. E. (2013). Applying the Free Market Philosophy to Healthcare. Humanomics, 29(2), 105-114.
World Health Organization. (2014). WHO handbook for guideline development. World Health Organization. Retrieved from http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/75146/1/9789241548441_eng.pdf
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