So, I thought to myself…
“Universal”, “Health” and “Care”
Put together, my mind tells me that is a big complex term!
Broken down, like I have done right there, my mind tells me these are just 3 words…simple to understand!
What do you think?
Photo credit: Newsroom – Amref Health Africa
If we add “in Africa” to that mix,
What do we get?
If it is universal and we’ve added in Africa, does it remain exactly the same?
Is it something, you think, is possible to have and enjoy here?
Photo credit: Access Partnership
First of all, what makes something “universal”?
Second of all, what makes something “health care” or what is health care, for that matter?
Third of all, who gets to determine health care for us all in Africa?
Photo credit: Joep Lange Institute
When we talk of “health care”, do you agree with the World Health Organisation that says health care must have the full range of health services from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care?
Photo credit: The World Economic Forum
It is said that more than half of us, living in the world today, don’t actually receive the health care that we NEED!
Does this statement leave you disturbed?
We can use an example, that is freshest in our memories… of the COVID-19 era that we are in…that’s leaving so many of us exposed to extreme life situations of death, which is imminent and poverty as we struggle taking out our small ka-money to treat ourselves with whatever is recommended to us.
That brings me to the point of having health care centred around us, the people
Our history, as human beings, has shown that whenever we have our health care depending on endemic capitalism, we become very vulnerable to receiving whatever can be given to us or donated and not get what we actually need!
What do you think about that?
Photo credit: Wemos
The WHO says, “To make health for all a reality, we need: individuals and communities who have access to high quality health services so that they take care of their own health and the health of their families; skilled health workers providing quality, people-centred care; and policy-makers committed to investing in universal health coverage”.
How do you feel about that part of the #UHCInAfrica?
Is it something we can actually get to?
Photo credit: Takeda
Personally, I love the part where they talk about policy makers being committed to investing in universal health care
Because, as you may know by now, we live in a world where policies run everything and take centre-stage before everything else…at least in countries that truly prioritize peoples’ health, yeah
For the case of Uganda, I believe you know of the Ministry of Health, right?
You must have heard of their Knowledge Management Portal, right?
If not, I want you to take off some time and read their publication on “Health care coverage and equity towards universal health care”!
It is said that providing universal health care, for all, comes with some disadvantages.
Did you know these and this?
Like these I’ve directly extracted from The Balance;
- Healthy people pay for others’ medical care: Chronic diseases make up 90% of health care costs. The sickest 5% of the population create 50% of total health care costs, while the healthiest 50% only create 3% of costs. However, this is true even outside of universal health care systems, as spending on chronic diseases will raise the cost of private health insurance plans as well.
- People have less financial incentive to stay healthy: Without a copay, people might overuse emergency rooms and doctors.
- There can be long wait times for elective procedures: The government focuses on providing basic and emergency health care.
- Government cost-cutting can lead to reduced availability of care. For example, doctors report Medicare payment cuts will force them to close many in-house blood testing labs.
- Health care costs make up a significant portion of government budgets. For example, some Canadian provinces spend almost 40% of their budgets on health care!
- The government may limit those services with a low probability of success. This includes drugs for rare conditions and expensive end-of-life care. In the United States, care for patients in the last six years of life makes up one-fourth of the Medicare budget.
It is a lot to think about #UHCInAfrica, I know
But I hope you can create some time to think about it all deeply, amidst all the things that are happening in your life!
Photo credit: Africa Portal
I’ll leave you a very interesting quote…
“If we can get cold Coca-Cola and beer to every remote corner of Africa, it should not be impossible to do the same with drugs,” the late Dr. Joep Lange, a pioneering researcher in HIV/AIDS treatment in Africa in the late 1990s, once declared.