Topic: Providing an affordable healthcare system should be a government’s top policy priority. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
Healthcare is one of the public services that a government provides its people with to make sure that the country has a healthy population. Many, therefore, argue that provision of healthcare services should be the top objective of governments, whereas others believe that governments have to spend money on other areas. In this essay, I will analyse both sides of argument related to this policy.
When a country has affordable healthcare services, this can create a sense of equality since people, regarless of their social backgrounds and economic status, can have equal access to medical treatment. This is particularly important for those from poor families or residing in under-developed societies who may struggle to solve their medical problems without public healthcare services.
In addition to this, by growing healthcare systems which are payable by people, countries will possess healthy and physically strong population and workfoces, which acts as a foundation for economic and productivity development. NHS (The National Health Services) in the UK is a great example of a public healthcare system which works efficiently for British and non-British.
An economic problem with healthcare system is that it can put a burden on government’s budget. In tough economic times, many governments have no way but to cut their spending on healthcare to offset the increased spending on infrastructure and monetary policies. Critics in the UK often argue that the NHS is seriously under-funded and provide low-quality services.
Furthermore, a concern which is raised by developed economies is health tourism. This is the idea that tourists travel to countries with free or affordable healthcare systems funded by the state to enjoy this benefit and not to travel, which leads to huge economic losses for countries involved and is unfair to domestic customers who need healthcare as an urgency.
In conclusion, I am of the opinion that affordable healthcare systems can only be efficient if it is not under-funded and any loopholes such as health tourism are closed. Governments can increase the medical fees imposed on foreign tourists to cover costs for treatment adopted by domestic customers.
Watch a 3-minute video produced by The Guardian explaining The National Health Service - An example of a healthcare system in Great Britain.