Socialized medicine was first introduced in Germany by Chancellor Otto von Bismarck in 1883 but was only intended for factory and mine workers. It was mandatory for these workers to get public health insurance. The policy was later extended to almost all employees in Germany by 1911. Today, almost all developed countries have socialized medicine to a high percentage. New Zealand was the first country with mixed economy to have free public health care in 1939.
The United States started the first public aid program as Medicaid in the 1960’s to help poor mothers with health care which covered their children. Socialized medicine in some countries like Canada is mandatory for all workers, while in some other countries is salary dependent like in the Netherlands where employees with a certain level of income are excluded. Definition of socialized medicine Socialism is an economic system whereby the means of production or the products are government owned or controlled by the government.
Socialized medicine is a system of providing free medical health care by government controlled financing strategies majorly taxation and insurance. The whole health sector in some cases, are operated fully or partially by the government. Public health insurance may be made mandatory or high taxes may be cut from the rich masses or employees whose income is relatively high compared to the average earning mass. ADVANTAGES Social advantages The aim of the socialized medicine policy is that people who do not have the access to medical care can get it at nominal costs.
In other words, the connection between cost of medical care and the medical service rendered is broken. There is a very high accessibility to medical care at highly affordable costs because all of the profit drives are cut off the sector. Doctors will not be profit or salary driven but the desire to work will be paramount. There is increase in mortality or life expectancy in such countries where socialized medicine is being practised. People can get fast attention to medical problems soon enough before a spread without thinking about the bills.
Economic advantages If the labour market is healthy, then there will definitely be an increase in labour. Not with-standing the fact that majority of blue-collar workers like farmers belong to below average economic classes who are the major target of the socialized medicine, socialized medicine will increase man labour and white-collar job workers performance. Socialised medicine is a financial relief to families and individuals because there are probably lots of expenses to think of and adding health insurance from private sectors is not a good option.
The privately owned and controlled insurance companies are out there to just drain the public of their money by denying their clients most of their entitlements thereby keeping the circulation of money in one direction which is ever towards them. There is nothing like the joy of having what you want at the right time. That defines a good economy. DISADVANTAGES Social disadvantages It creates a kind of segregation between the poor and rich who have the money to pay in an option where cash can be offered.
The people who can afford medical care treatments on their own will probably have a better service than those who depend on the funds of the government in a mandatory insurance setting. Issues of bribery to overcome queue will definitely mount up and there will be corruption even in the medical field where doctors are assumed to be God’s healing hand stretch to earth. Corruption will endanger people’s lives and put them at risk even at the verge of getting medical care.
Socialized medicine can hinder, reduce or even crowd out growth of private health organisations who also want to render free public health services because the public will highly depend on the facilities rendered by the government in a totally socialized medical care system. Economic disadvantages The law of demand states that in general, other things been equal, the lower the price of an item, the greater the quantity of the item buyers will purchase over a given period.
The law of supply states that in general, other things been equal, the higher the price of an item, the greater the quantity of that item sellers are willing and able to make available over a given period. This laws of demand and supply relatively affects the system where socialized medicine is indulged. The lesser the cost of medical care, the higher the demand which will in turn cause shortages and queues in the medical centres. Some may prefer to queue rather than pay for medical care but in cases of emergency, socialized medicine might not be reliable. The rate of demand will always be higher than that of supply.
In a case where the government does not have adequate health funding plans and budget, debts could accumulate. There is advance in medical technology and the research for more medical options, most of which will lead to more expensive medical care, and this means that the funds will increase over time. If the government is not prepared for this, it could affect the economy greatly. The government has to budget for unseen circumstances like an outbreak of a disease of infection in which there will be lots of health medication funded by the government at a particular point in time.
Socialized medicine could cause a tedious working environment for the medical staffs due to fatigue or stress from work load. CONCLUSION Without doubt, socialized medicine is very important and of great aid to the society, but it has to be considered with all factors attended to for instance, the possibility of increase in medical care and a long time budget to cover the funds needed to carry out socialized medicine without any problems or threats to the financial status or economy of the country.
A balanced mixed economy type of public health care will be the best to implement government aided support in the medical sector. The rich, at their luxury, can afford the type of medical attention they need without queue or corrupting the medical sector and the poor or average class can get the medical care support they need from the government. Instead of criticizing the socialized medical care, questions like how the funds will be raised to cover all government expenses on health care should be discussed considering the country’s economical position and stability.
References Lemieux, P. (2004). Socialized medicine. IBL occasional papers. Italy. Hubert D. (1922). Supply and demand. New York: Harcourt, Brace. Gerald, C. (1999). Why Doesn’t America Have Universal Comprehensive Health Care?? Ashland Sentient Times [online] Available: http://members. peak. org/~ramselj/univ. txt John, G. (2005). Five myths of socialized medicine. Cato’s letter (3rd vol. ). Washington. Available [online]: http://www. cato. org/pubs/catosletter/catosletterv3n1. pdf.