According be something we should pay for. While

According to statistics from the World Health
Organization, everyday more than 16000 children die before the age of five
because of malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia etc. but the most impressive fact is
that a child from sub Saharan African is 14 times more likely to be in those
16000 than any child in other parts of the world. These statistics raise one of
the most debated philosophical questions in the healthcare system, is health
care a right or a privilege?

            Dr. Kathryn Anastos, a doctor from New York in
1992 once said”It is unconscionable that we
ration health care by the ability to pay… Health care should be a given.” And like Dr Kathryn there are many activist,
politicians and physiologist that share her point of view in the healthcare
system. Basic Healthcare should be a given no matter your age, sex or
economical status. But even if you agree with this point of view, a second
question arises, how do we define basic healthcare? In other words what level
of health care should be provided to everyone? And here is where it comes in
conflict with the opposing view.

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            A
privilege is often defined as “a special right,
advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or
group.” And just as there are many supporters for healthcare being a right
there are many that support healthcare as being a privilege. To understand the
view of those that support healthcare as a privilege, think of it this way. In
our early days in school we are taught that a person’s basic needs include
food, water and shelter. Yet you cannot go to a restaurant and ask for food and
not pay because it is your basic “need” or not pay your mortgage because you
need a shelter. These are all necessities for our survival yet they are not
rights or simply given away for free. So something as healthcare should also be
something we should pay for.  

            While both side of the table raise
some important points a Professor of Health
Research and Policy in Stanford University, Laurence Baker suggests “that one way
to think about the debate is that healthcare can be similarly divided into
certain categories, basic goods that everyone deserves access to and luxury goods
that one ought to have to elect to pay for.” In simpler words healthcare should be considered both a basic right and
a privilege. But even with this point of view, it is scary to think that
despite the great advances in technology and many countries developing a solid
healthcare system, thousands die every day due to the lack of medications or
medical equipments that should be readily available to everyone.