'Health for all' - is not just a goal for all health systems to achieve for their people, but is a basic necessity and requirement which is each and every individual's right.
Since all countries globally have different sects of population, geographical areas, economies, and vulnerabilities when it comes to diseases, each government has different healthcare systems to cater to the needs of the people.
The following article will focus on the healthcare systems of two countries - namely India and New Zealand.
New Zealand follows the Universal public health system, which is similar to that of the UK and the USA, and therefore has one of the strongest healthcare systems in the world.
Going back to 1938, an act was started known as the Social Security Act. This act was responsible for bringing a free healthcare system into the country and was responsible for having equal access to the same standard of treatment.
Compared to countries like India, one of the biggest advantages that the healthcare system of New Zealand offers is that healthcare facilities offered to people are paid majorly by the government. - but it is only for the residents and citizens of New Zealand.
Most hospital visits of the family to a General Practitioner (GP) for children aged under 13 are free, but adult patients have to pay a fee, between $19 and $55. Meeting a General Practitioner after-clinic hours can cost $75 or more.
There are special offers and facilities for those people who cannot afford to pay for all their treatments and for even those who earn less than a certain annual income. They may qualify for a Community Services Card or CSC. This card reduces the cost of General Practitioner visits and medicines.
In addition to this, there are primarily 4 ways through which the people of New Zealand can reach out to get healthcare services -
Public Medical Practices – If one is staying in New Zealand for more than a year, they have access to medical centers and GP who can also provide them with over-the-phone prescriptions and many other services.
After-hours centers – These offer late-night healthcare services also on the weekends. They have walk-in appointments, along with after-hours pharmacy, but ask for a higher fee than usual.
Hospitals – These provide emergency rooms whenever required.
Specialists – The GP may refer the patient to a specialist if required. But there are many departments, for instance, the dermatology department which might have around 3- 6 months of waiting.
Now shifting the paradigm and talking about the public health system of India, just like there were 4 areas in the health system of New Zealand, the entire public health system of India is divided into three sectors - Primary level, Secondary level, and Tertiary level.
Since India has more of a rural population, the primary aim is to work on that grass root level. The primary healthcare system comprises mainly of PHCs - Primary Health centers and SHCs-secondary health centers.
PHCs are single physician-owned centers, not only for rural people, but centers are also in urban settings.
SHCs are hospitals and outpatient specialist clinics to which people go after a referral from primary health care services.
As one goes up the hierarchy, we come to the secondary level of health, wherein hospitals are introduced. In addition to this, there are community health centers or CHCs as well. It is nothing but a network of clinics staffed by a group of general practitioners and nurses providing healthcare services to people in a certain area.
Last but not the least, the tertiary level in metro cities and urban areas offer the most specialized services like major surgeries. In addition to district hospitals, they include medical colleges and hospitals which treat patients in that area.
In spite of different facilities offered by the government of a particular country to their people, they all share the same intention - that is providing proper health facilities to all people equally according to their convenience so that not a soul is left out or has to suffer due to lack of healthcare. Health indeed is a right of everyone and should continue to be so.
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