Public healthcare is a vital component of any well-functioning society. It provides access to medical care and services to all individuals, regardless of their income or social status. Public healthcare is often seen as a basic human right, and for many, it is the only reliable form of healthcare available.
In addition to offering access to quality healthcare, public healthcare also offers numerous other benefits that are essential to the health and well-being of individuals and entire communities. From increasing life expectancy to reducing overall healthcare costs, there are numerous reasons why public healthcare is so important.
What Is Public Healthcare?
Dr John Manzella defines public healthcare as any form of medical care provided through government funds and facilities rather than through private means. This can include but is not limited to, free or low-cost medical services, insurance coverage through government-sponsored or government-run health programs, assistance with the cost of prescription medications, and assistance with the cost of medical care.
Public healthcare is funded either through taxes (where the government is responsible for paying the costs of healthcare services) or through social insurance systems (where the government provides healthcare services to individuals as a benefit paid for through insurance).
Increase Life Expectancy
One of the critical benefits of public healthcare is its ability to increase life expectancy. Life expectancy is the average number of years that a person can be expected to live. According to a recent report, life expectancy in most developed countries is expected to increase by 3 years. Increased life expectancy is the result of improvements in healthcare systems, including the implementation of public healthcare programs.
Improve Community Health
Public healthcare systems can improve the overall health of a community. Through the provision of preventive care, they can help to reduce the prevalence of communicable diseases, chronic diseases, and other health conditions that can have a negative impact on the well-being of a community. This can also have a positive impact on life expectancy by reducing the number of premature deaths in a community.
Provide Access To Quality Healthcare
Public healthcare systems also provide access to quality medical care. By implementing standards of care and requiring medical practitioners to meet certain criteria, public healthcare systems can help to reduce ineffective and dangerous treatments and drugs. Public healthcare systems also help to reduce the prevalence of medical errors, including misdiagnoses and medical mistakes.
Public healthcare systems can also increase the availability of medical services by building new healthcare facilities and hiring more medical practitioners including doctors, nurses, and other support staff.
By increasing the number of healthcare facilities and medical practitioners, public healthcare systems can help to decrease wait times and make medical services more readily available to individuals throughout the country.
Reduce Healthcare Costs
Lastly, public healthcare can reduce healthcare costs over the long term. Public healthcare systems, by design, are intended to be less costly than private healthcare systems. This is because these systems can negotiate cheaper drug prices and cost-saving medical equipment and procedures, among other things. These systems also allow for economies of scale, meaning that costs can be reduced due to the number of people using the system.