Why public health care is better

Why public healthcare is better

Today, when private actors see the health care system more and more as a market, we deem it important to defend and promote public health care. In our paper “Why is public health care better” you’ll learn:

  • why privatisation causes bigger inequality in access to health care
  • why privatisation is often more expensive on a long term
  • why privatisation is not more efficient
  • why privatisation doesn’t mean better quality
  • why privatisation means less government control
  • why privatisation means less availability of health care workers and worse working conditions
  • what kind of health care system we would like to promote
  • examples of successful social movements campaigns

Good health is a universal right. Only a public health care system can guarantee care for everyone without any discrimination. A private actor will always seek maximal profits and give priority to patients with the highest financial means.

Good health does not only mean no disease. Being in good health is a state of total well-being. To achieve this, prevention and information are crucial. But the private sector is not interested in this because preventing diseases is less lucrative than curing them.

On the contrary, public health care, based on solidarity and financed by the community, is able to offer free health care. As it is focused on prevention, public health care meets the needs of the community and offers better quality, accessible to everyone.

Making health care accessible can have very important consequences : for example, in Burundi child mortality under 5 years has dropped by 43% since the introduction of free health care for pregnant women.

Moreover, public health care is less expensive and more efficient. Because a public system meets existing needs and not commercial interests, it allows to provide better health care for everyone for less money. Although health care expenses are nearly four times lower in Cuba than in the USA, life expectancy is more or less the same in both countries.

Health care system Mostly privatized Totally public
Health care expenses per capita (in dollars) (2014)* 9403 2475
Number of doctors per 1000 inhabitants (2014)** 2,577,52
Child mortality per 1000 live births (2017)** 5,7 4,1

*figures of the World Health Organization, **figures of the World Bank

Good health should be a common right for everyone. That is why we support social movements struggling for health for everyone. They are essential to make public health care possible.