Access to healthcare

Access to healthcare

Access to Healthcare: A Basic Human Right


Access to healthcare is one of the fundamental human rights that should be accessible to all, regardless of their socioeconomic status. However, despite its importance, many people around the world still lack access to basic healthcare services, resulting in poor health outcomes, increased mortality rates, and reduced quality of life. In this article, we will examine the current state of access to healthcare globally, the factors that contribute to limited access, and the possible solutions to this problem.

The State of Access to Healthcare Globally

Access to healthcare varies widely around the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than half of the world's population lacks access to essential health services. In low- and middle-income countries, this percentage increases to around 80%. Furthermore, many people who do have access to healthcare services face significant barriers such as high out-of-pocket costs, lack of transportation, and language barriers.

In the United States, the most advanced country in terms of healthcare infrastructure, millions of people lack access to basic healthcare services due to the high cost of care. According to a report by the Commonwealth Fund, in 2018, 37% of adults in the US did not receive needed medical care due to cost. Additionally, 45% of adults reported that they struggled with healthcare-related financial problems, including the inability to pay medical bills, being contacted by a collection agency, or having to borrow money to pay for healthcare.

Factors Contributing to Limited Access to Healthcare

Several factors contribute to limited access to healthcare services, including:


Poverty is one of the primary reasons why many people lack access to healthcare services. People living in poverty often struggle to afford basic necessities such as food, housing, and education, leaving little or no room for healthcare expenses.

Lack of Infrastructure

In many parts of the world, there is a lack of healthcare infrastructure, including hospitals, clinics, and medical personnel. This makes it difficult for people living in remote or rural areas to access healthcare services.

High Cost of Healthcare

In countries where healthcare is primarily a private enterprise, the high cost of care can be a significant barrier to accessing healthcare services. Even in countries with a public healthcare system, high out-of-pocket costs can prevent people from seeking necessary medical care.

Discrimination and Inequality

Discrimination and inequality also contribute to limited access to healthcare services. People from marginalized communities, such as ethnic minorities or those with disabilities, may face barriers such as language barriers or lack of cultural competency among healthcare providers.

Possible Solutions to the Problem of Limited Access to Healthcare

Several solutions have been proposed to address the problem of limited access to healthcare, including:

Universal Health Coverage

Universal health coverage (UHC) is a system in which all people have access to essential health services without suffering financial hardship. According to the WHO, UHC is the most effective way to achieve equitable and sustainable access to healthcare services.


Telemedicine involves the use of technology, such as video conferencing, to provide remote healthcare services. This can be particularly useful for people living in remote or rural areas where there is a lack of healthcare infrastructure.

Community-Based Healthcare

Community-based healthcare involves providing healthcare services at the local level, such as in community health centers or through mobile clinics. This can help to overcome barriers such as lack of transportation or language barriers.

Addressing the Social Determinants of Health

The social determinants of health, such as poverty, education, and housing, have a significant impact on people's health outcomes. Addressing these underlying factors can help to improve access to healthcare services.

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