What is your opinion on healthcare centers become privatized? Have you had any good or bad experience in privatized health care centers? Some of you might talk about this with your friends and colleagues. If not, this post will help you to find out the advantages and disadvantages of privatization of healthcare.
Healthcare is a vital component of any economy. The budget and allocation of resources in this area should be done with utmost consideration because it is the basis of professionalism and growth of infrastructure in a country. People cannot work when they are sick or suffering from health complications because of poor healthcare systems or unaffordable healthcare. Healthcare is a sensitive issue that some countries prefer to leave it to government regulation and management, which is funded by the tax.
Other countries prefer to involve private firms to enhance the quality of service. Nations with a high population often benefit from privatization of healthcare policies because the government may not handle the need in all communities; struggling to offer healthcare in large population compromises on quality of the services. While private firms involve profit-making as the only motivation for the provision of quality services, the goal should be efficiency and effectiveness in healthcare.
The debate on whether nations should adopt privatization of healthcare system or not is a never-ending debate based on various factors. Through this post, I am going to line up some advantages and disadvantages of privatization of healthcare.
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Advantages and Disadvantages of Privatization of Healthcare
Advantages of Privatization of Healthcare
1. Time of treatment
In privatized healthcare systems, patients enjoy time flexibility. You have the option of fixing your doctor’s visits based on your work schedules or other daily activities. It is also possible to shift appointments to a time you feel is more convenient. This is unheard of in a public healthcare setting. Public systems are characterized by long queues and uncertainty of consulting with a doctor because of huge demand. A private hospital will strive to schedule doctor’s appointments based on a patient’s convenience.
The fact that few people are willing to part with cash for private healthcare because the public is probably free, there are significantly low numbers in private hospitals. The doctor-patient ratio is low. Doctors in a private hospital setting take time with patients because there is no waiting list thus proper diagnosis. Besides, doctors in private hospitals are less exhausted as compared to their colleagues in a public healthcare center. Numbers drain hence compromise on the quality of subsequent patients.
When on an appointment with a doctor, privacy is crucial. A patient needs to be free in explaining conditions including physical demonstrations, which cannot happen when there is a third party. In a private hospital setting, there is plenty of space for doctors to attend to you privately. You get a locked room or pull curtains around the bed for privacy during diagnosis and treatment procedures. In countries with public health care systems, patients get shy in opening up to a doctor because of the people around hence compromising on the quality of the treatment.
Besides setting doctor’s appointments, private healthcare policies build competition in the industry where hospital managers have to provide best services to win clients. While doing it as a business may not sound proper to some people, competition between healthcare centers is an advantage to patients. Just like in any business, prices are likely to go low and service quality will increase. This is unlike in public healthcare where the government is in full control hence acting as a monopoly; citizens have no choice other than to abide by the only available services.
Hygiene is very important everywhere, especially in healthcare centers. The fact that people are few in private healthcare centers makes it easy to manage the facility. When you talk about public healthcare centers hygiene is crucial in bathrooms and patient wards. In as much as public healthcare facilities try to keep up with hygiene, the numbers compromise on the management levels.
Disadvantages of Privatization of Healthcare
Definitely, this is a drawback when speaking of privatization in healthcare. The fact that public hospitals offer subsidized and other free services is a factor that makes most people shies away from private hospitals. The fact that they are established for profit-making other than service driven professionals doesn’t go well with patients. Cost means it is not affordable for everyone; irrespective of the cost, it still discriminates against a portion of society. The government offers basic free healthcare services that will cost a significant amount in private firms.
2. Uninsured individuals
The accumulation of expenses in a private hospital necessitates payment by a health insurance company. While it is important for everyone to subscribe to a medical coverage for uncertain days, not everyone can afford it. For such people, they have to dig into their pockets and savings to pay for medical bills. It leaves a family in devastation. Finance is the main concern in the privatization of healthcare. If you are not insured you will definitely feel the pinch.
Private and public healthcare facilities should offer the same service and move to par. In countries where the two hospital settings are running, private firms tend to discriminate patients with certain medical coverage on basis of money transferred. Private firms have also been accused of giving priority to well-endowed families and healthier patients who have Medicare.
One of the risks of privatization in any business is exploitation of clients and customers. Although national governments regulate these facilities, patients are likely to be exploited either financially or physically. Doctors working in such facilities are also exposed to exploitation because the government may not have control over their salaries and working hours.
Because private firms are driven by profit-making rather than service to the community, they can opt to close any day that suits the management. The management is not answerable to a government regulatory board with respect to operations unless it is illegal. This can inconvenience patients or lead to more health complications.
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Privatization is beneficial if the structures are set properly, otherwise, it will defeat the purpose and goal of healthcare. National governments should weigh options and set strict regulations before implementing privatization policies in healthcare.
These are some of the advantages and disadvantages of privatization of healthcare centers. If you know any other pros and cons of privatization of healthcare mention that in the comment box below. Also, you can share this post with your friends and family by clicking one of the social share buttons below.