Health is an essential aspect of the economy of a country. When the majority of the population is healthy, it would mean more productivity. However, healthcare in developing countries continues to be inaccessible to many. Some die because they cannot afford healthcare services. Some can admit themselves to public hospitals but have to suffer the poor quality of services due to lack of equipment and workforce.
Being healthy and having access to quality healthcare is vital for every economy. Being healthy determines the quality of life a person will have. If you are sick or sickly, your actions can be limited or restricted. Everyone deserves to have access to quality healthcare; therefore, governments must strive hard to give this to their constituents.
This can be particularly challenging for developing countries, given that there will be other things that the government must spend. But governments should realize that investing in healthcare would mean investing in other things as well. These are the three things that governments and national organizations of developing countries can do to improve health in their countries.
1. Invest in Education
When governments invest in education, it will create a domino effect on other aspects of life. When one is well-educated, he/she can apply for safer jobs, be more health literate, and will have the chance to take preventive healthcare measures.
For example, in an illiterate population, these people will have to do more physical jobs thereby straining their bodies and health. They are willing to risk their health so they can bring food to the table.
On the other hand, imagine people who finished a degree. They can get better jobs, afford routine check-ups, get health insurance, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Another case would be girls in their puberty stage. A number of them can be pregnant at an early age. If they will be given vocational education and have access to family planning, there is a bigger chance that early pregnancy can be prevented. This way, the poverty cycle can be broken, and this can empower them as women.
2. Increasing Benefits for the Poor
The poor are the most vulnerable when it comes to health risks. For people who don’t have the means to afford health services, governments must step in the way to provide this to them.
A family who still have to think about what to eat for the next meal, cannot set aside extra money for healthcare services. The tendency is, they will put off going to the doctor even if they feel something is wrong with their body. The main reasons are that they lack the financial capacity to do so.
By increasing the health benefits for the poor, governments can change this mentality. Once they know that a healthcare service is available for them, they can turn to these services so they can take care of their health.
3. Promoting Primary and Essential Healthcare
The government can also focus on fostering primary and essential healthcare for the underprivileged by providing complete and free vaccines, develop clean water supplies, and improve sanitation practices.
These aspects are fundamental. If people don’t have access to vaccines, it will only lead to a bigger problem in the future. For instance, children who are not given a dengue vaccine will eventually contract that disease in the future. If people don’t have clean water, it will only lead to more infections.
Thus, governments should focus on giving these essential healthcare services to their people to prevent more significant problems in the future.
It is expensive to be sick. You have to pay for medicines, tests, admissions and so much more. People are dying because they cannot afford healthcare services. Some people would choose to die because they don’t want their families to be trapped in debt.
All these instances are harmful to the economy. People who get sick will lessen the productivity that is needed to sustain and further improve the economy. Therefore, an investment in health is an investment for the future.