What did you learn that either surprised you or caused you to reflect? Elaborate on your reflections and learning.
One of the surprising findings I encountered is how much the United States lags behind the rest of the developed world in offering a critical social service to its citizens. The most important finding for me is the proven effectiveness of universal healthcare. Wherever in the globe such a system has been implemented, access to healthcare for those in lower socioeconomic strata had considerably improved. This has had an impact on their overall quality of life. If the very notion of nationhood is based upon solidarity with compatriots, then the beginning point for this bond lies in socialized healthcare. If we as members of society do not even care about the wellbeing of our neighbours then it betrays a moral and cultural vacuum. I am alarmed to realize that such is the state of American society today, with its healthcare system proving to be a source of national disgrace.
I find it unacceptable that healthcare ranks so low in priority compared to military or homeland security expenditures. The Congress and the Executive branch do not fret over allocating huge amounts of funds for futile and counterproductive wars in far corners of the world. But when it comes to taking care of the basic needs of its citizens the government is indifferent. I find this state of affairs as very troubling. It is my wish and hope that in my own lifetime I would see a change – a radical change – in the State’s social contract. And I would do whatever I can in my own career to realize this change. I understand that every one’s participation counts. Being a healthcare professional puts me in a position of privilege and responsibility in this regard. I will strive to make good of my status, opportunities and contacts to improve the situation. Finally, as author Rashford notes in her conclusion, further research on the subject is warranted. Perhaps due to commercial disincentives of taking a contrarian position to the status quo that research on the suitability of universal healthcare in America remains underdone. I would contribute my two cents in rectifying this situation.
Marleise Rashford, A Universal Healthcare System: Is It Right for the United States? Nursing Forum, Volume 42, pp. No 1, January-March, 2007.
Delivering Healthcare in America – A System Approach by Shi and Singh 2012.