One of the most disturbing images regarding health care is one of a seemingly unending lines waiting for medical care in hospital lobbies: dealing with unfriendly hospital staff, limited service and overextended health professionals. The scenario seems like a scene made to create drama in a movie or television, doesn’t it? Or is this a case of art imitating life, a sad insight to the current Medicare system in the country? Either way, the scene is greatly disturbing because health has become one of the most critical personal and social issues in society today.
For many, Medicare has become a primary health services provider. With health insurance premiums soaring and changes in health needs demographics leaning towards geriatrics, disability and juvenile health concerns, socialized health services are facing significant challenges. Medicare, in many individual lexicons, has become synonymous to social security. Therefore, Medicare has transcended from being a social service to become an indicator of social development and quality of life. Thus, there should be recognition of its importance in ensuring and promoting the welfare of every member of society.
The best care scenario is that when one needs medical attention, there would be no need to wait a day in the waiting are to be treated. This means that there are ample health professionals to address concerns of patients. This means being escorted out of the health facility in an improved state of health. If health care programs are not able to fulfill these roles, they can impede the success of social development, increase social disparities and limit economic potential. How can people have the means to improve their quality of life without health security?
How can we ensure the essential services are accessible to the vulnerable population groups? How can we expect to achieve labor or productive potential without health? On a personal level, Medicare is an indication of the efficiency of social planning and intervention. It is a means by which the government communicates to me its concern for my well-being as much as crime prevention, education or counter-terrorism does. Health demographics compiled from Medicare services also can provide valuable insight to trends and concerns.
Medicare is a means of ensuring that one can live one’s life, work to achieve professional goals and develop potential with security. Medicare is an assurance that citizens to the right quality of life. Medicare justifies social security payments, health care as an institution and the value of government and society to promote the welfare of every individual. Socialized health care programs are not just about having the necessary medical services they should also ensure access to basic health care, achievement of public health goals and support systems to promote social inclusion and empowerment.
At the same time, there is a need to realize the stress that Medicare services has had to with escalating costs to deliver services, labor shortages of medical professionals and substantial budget cuts. Therefore, there is a need to develop a service that recognizes these constraints and at the same time still maintain the mandate of delivering essential health services to the public. In doing so, Medicare will be able to fulfill its role not only as a social institution but its new social mandate of ensuring that every citizen is able to live a quality life that will allow him to contribute his full potential to society.