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Is Healthcare a Luxury or a Basic Right?

Access to Healthcare Online Forum was officially kicked off! Representatives from GPSA led thought-provoking workshops on how cost-effective preventative educational programs as simple as hand-washing can make a big difference in a country's mortality rate, while trustworthy governments are absolutely necessary for public health systems to function properly, no matter how wealthy a patient is. How can high school students play a part in advancing equity in access to adequate healthcare?

To start, we prepare the students to think critically. What do we know now, and how do we know what we know? How do our own experiences shape our worldview of what is adequate? Here are some highlights this week to share with you:

"Access to healthcare in America is a fundamental aspect of societal well-being, directly impacting individuals' quality of life, economic productivity, and overall public health. The U.S. is claimed to contain a very paradoxical healthcare system in that it offers some of the best healthcare providers in the world but also can be considered one of the worst healthcare systems due to how it is structured... Employer-based coverage and public programs like Medicare and Medicaid form the foundation of insurance coverage, yet many individuals, particularly those with low incomes, struggle to afford adequate insurance. The uninsured population continues to grow, with racial and ethnic minorities disproportionately affected....What measures or policies are successfully being implemented in other countries structure-wise that America can research and try on our healthcare system?" ~on the USA by Megha Siripurapu, Lovejoy High School

"According to the World Index of Healthcare Innovation, Korea ranked #18 while it was ranked #14 for choice. A benefit that Korean healthcare gives is how accessible it is. Korea consists of  3200 general hospitals, not including small clinics, with 45 hospitals dedicated to the elderly. Despite this, many people worry about the expensive costs of healthcare systems, especially when they have to get surgery or have costly checkups. However, that is not the case in South Korea, for systems like government regulations, single-payer models, cost-sharing mechanisms, and risk-pooling, even lower-class citizens can afford the high-quality healthcare and technologies that Korea proposes." ~ on South Korea by John Bhang,

Seoul International School

"Quality has been New Zealand’s best aspect in making up healthcare in a country. The Index of Healthcare Innovation specifically ranked the preparation and response to the pandemic as well as patient-centered care out of the 32 countries analysed in 2022, in 4th and 7th place respectively (Girvan and Roy, 2023). Hospitalisation is free of charge paid by general taxation and provides a multitude of areas with such care, InterNations have provided information on their website that include but are not limited to, inpatient and outpatient services at public hospitals, mental health care, and disability support services. These free/subsidised health services are only permitted to eligible subjects, but New Zealand has fortunately opened this eligibility to both victims of human trafficking and refugees (New Zealand Government, n.d.)" on New Zealand by Penelope Anne Logie, Greenbay High School.

More highlights will be shared in the coming weeks. Let's cheer for the young scholars!

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