Favoritism in Healthcare
During a recent trip to India, I observed favoritism in healthcare rooted deep in the Indian system. To a certain extent, it is spread worldwide. When I was in India, I needed to visit a doctor. I started asking a few locals hosting me during my trip if they had suggestions of any experienced physicians. One suggested a name and went on to tell me that I do not have to visit the doctor in spite of my medical concern. He could examine me at home and prescribe the appropriate tests. My host and the physician also managed to arrange the earliest appointments for all of my diagnostic tests.
It struck me when I arrived for my medical test, there was a long line of patients waiting for the same test. Some of those waiting had appointments scheduled almost a year ahead of time. A few of the patients waited a couple of hours due to their medical emergency and an urgent need for that test. However, I was accepted quickly. I was paying the same amount of fees for the test as those waiting for me. In the midst of joy of my abilities to get things done quickly, my heart was filled with guilt for cutting ahead of those waiting for prolonged periods or those waiting for emergency testing.
As I was traveling back home to Canada, this experience kept me thinking entire way home. What if favoring is rooted in selecting organ receiver? I have enough faith in the Canadian healthcare system to prevent favoritism in critical medicine. the other health care systems have the same problem? The American health care is semi-private with an increasingly less government and more patient and corporate-funded system. Does this translate into patients with more money have best survival rates and receive higher priority for better access to healthcare?
In developing countries without federally funded medicine, it's well implied that lower and middle-class patients get delayed or receive the inferior quality of health services in comparison to wealthy patients. Favoritism in providing a health service is equal to discrimination based on financial circumstances of the patient. This can be very catastrophic to already struggle patient populations when trying to make ends meet to cover their most fundamental needs. I hope that healthcare becomes a basic human right rather than a privilege.