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  • Ziggi Murphy

Do Poor People Deserve Healthcare?

Should you have private healthcare? Can you afford it? Who does it benefit?

If you are unlucky enough to not be able to afford private healthcare in Australia, you can just wait for your treatment, or can you?

We already know that poverty and health worldwide are indissolubly related. The causes of poor health for millions globally are rooted in political, social, and economic injustices. We know that poverty can cause poor health and poverty increases the chances of poor health. Communities get trapped in poverty and poor health, in turn, traps communities in poverty.

We need to see change within political structures which have tolerated poverty and discrimination for a long time. Governments need to tackle poverty and provide help for people on lower incomes, as well as need to transform health services so that they work for the people and not for companies and doctors.

Healthcare is a right not a privilege.

Doctors are being trained in the public system and then going on to work in private practice and only seeing private insured patients, this cannot be right. Why are so many doctors only working in private practice? How did it become such a lucrative business? Why is the public system being voiceless maybe so it can be sold off cheap? The American system here we come.

Disregarded groups and vulnerable individuals are not receiving treatment because they have no insurance. We are a community together. So why do the poor and vulnerable have to make harsh choices, such as do they see a doctor or feed their children. They can go to a bulk billing practice I hear you say. But have you noticed over the years the decline in bulk billed practices? Should all practices not have to see a certain amount of bulk billed patients to qualify as a business. A business a word that should never be used alongside health. Even if you are lucky enough to get an appointment at the practice it can be a couple of days later, however you may need that medical certificate now, or you will not get paid. Don't think think it can't happen to you, they say we are only two pay packets away from the streets.

Healthcare should not be for the rich or the lucky ones with the insurance cover.

You could wait for an appointment in the public system for a year, depending on your complaint, all because doctors are making large profits from private practice and even using public hospitals to see private patients but that is OK because they are renting the room. Well, it is not OK because they should be seeing public patients.

Cultural and social barriers faced by the poor including indigenous communities, can mean they use health services less, with serious consequences for their health. According to the Australian government, All is not equal, where you live, how much you earn, whether you have a disability, your access to services and many other factors can affect your health. Overall, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people from areas of socioeconomic disadvantage, people in rural and remote locations, and people with disability experience more health disadvantages than other Australians. These disadvantages can include higher rates of illness and shorter life expectancy.

The time is now to stop giving public money to private companies to provide health services. It is time for a tertiary teaching hospital to be built in the northern suburbs.

It is time to take back the health service and lovingly keep it in public hands for all to have access that is fair including dental health but that is a whole other story.

Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

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