Most people are aware that healthcare systems across the world are unjust. Many of us accept this as a fact of life; that things are unfair, and that it’s easier to move on and leave them the way they are. However, to do this with healthcare would be cruel and deadly. Healthcare is a human right- despite this, it is only readily available to 50% of the global population. Even when it is available, healthcare can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and can push families into inescapable depths of poverty and debt. The World Health Organization had set a goal for every citizen of the world to gain access to healthcare by the year 2000. Two decades later, hundreds of millions of people still don’t have healthcare. It is clear that the global healthcare system is flawed; however, not enough people are doing something about it.
In many South Asian countries, there is a lack of sanitizing equipment and resources that has resulted in a lack of hygienic and quality healthcare. Additionally, contaminated water and limited access to personal hygiene products fuel the spread of pathogens and illnesses in densely populated communities. Even when people have access to sanitary supplies, the issue of transportation is prevalent. Often, hospitals and clinics are in urban areas and those living in rural villages do not have the means of transportation to get to the healthcare services they need. To add to these setbacks, many doctors and healthcare workers move to other countries for a higher standard of living and a better salary.
In African countries, the story is a similar one. Many countries, including Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Zambia, spend only a small amount of their country GDPs on healthcare costs. There is also a drastic shortage of medical professionals in such countries; Zimbabwe only has one doctor for every 10,000 people. Although many countries offer private healthcare in addition to public services, this type of healthcare costs far more than the masses can afford, reserving it for the rich. In East Asian countries, many people have access to healthcare. Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and other countries in the region have made healthcare widely available to the masses. Their healthcare systems are largely funded by public taxes and governmental security programs for citizens. However, issues with diseases, respiratory illnesses, and more are still prevalent in the region. Additionally, many people in rural areas cannot access available healthcare services because of transportation issues.
Even in wealthier countries such as the U.S., hundreds of thousands of people lack access to proper healthcare services because the cost is too high. Globally, it is clear that healthcare systems are unfairly geared towards the rich and powerful instead of towards the millions of people who need them. Factors such as language barriers, transportation, infrastructure problems, close living quarters, a lack of hygienic and sanitary resources, and even a lack of education can all impact healthcare negatively. SIUT Pakistan is an organization that provides free healthcare to all patients with dignity. This remarkable institution supplies patients with medicines, food, and support along with high-quality medical care so that patients without the resources to pay for treatment can focus on their health instead of their bills. Along with medical care, SIUT’s Center for Biomedical Ethics and Culture provides a free education to students from countries all around the world so that they can take their knowledge back home and continue to make an impact. Through funding from donors like you, SIUT is able to maintain high standards and treat millions of patients from Pakistan and around the world. Although it is clear that the global healthcare system’s problems need to be addressed, as long as we continue to promote and support institutions like SIUT, we can improve the futures of millions of people who would otherwise suffer.