“Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health of himself and of his family, including food, housing, and medical care and necessary social services,” states Article 25.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Unfortunately, in this day and age, American citizens do not have equal access to health care, as Americans should. According to Hans Hogerzeil, a writer for “Essential Drug Monitor, “All human rights are interrelated so that the right to health is related to the exercise of other human rights, such as education, privacy, and equality.”
All over the United States, federal programs and health care companies realize that all populations neither share the same health status nor do they have the same access to quality health care services. Claude Fox, author for Clinical Research & Regulatory Affairs, states, “There are geographic barriers, such as living in isolated, rural areas or lacking transportation to community health centers.” Even though The Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that all humans are legally obligated to have fair and equal access to health care, the truth lies within a number of issues that deal with the availability, accessibility, acceptability, and quality of the health care services to be offered to all citizens.
According to the International Covenant in Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, better known as ICESCR, “Access to health care is determined by the availability, accessibility of services to the public; the acceptability to different cultures, sexes, and age groups; and the quality of the services.” In order to offer all of these services properly, health care officials must provide their services in a non-discriminatory way. The health care facilities, services and programs within the United States often times are overflowing in terms of quantity, however, the American people are not able to afford or have the access and availability to reach these services which are basic rights to all humans residing with the United States.
Availability, accessibility, acceptability, and quality of health care are the core issues at the bottom of the health care problems in the United States. According to Policyproject.com, “Functioning health care systems must be available in sufficient quantity within the country. These include safe and potable drinking water, adequate sanitation facilities, health-related buildings, trained medical professionals, competitive salaries, and essential drugs.” Accessibility deals with non-discrimination, physical accessibility, economic accessibility, and information accessibility. In summary, the ICESCR says all persons have the rights to health services of all types and that each service should be within reach for all members of the population no matter a persons economic status, physical location, or nationality that a particular citizen encompasses.
Acceptability and quality of health care go hand in hand in terms of health care for all American citizens. According to ICESCR, “All health facilities must be respectful of medial ethics and sensitive to gender and life cycle requirements, as well as respect confidentiality to improve the health status of those concerned.” Americans are entitled to health care services that accept them no matter what the case, but due to economic statuses and other issues dealing with money, American citizens often times are not accepted by health care facilities. Medical personnel need to have skills that are scientifically approved and also have the access to unexpired drugs and hospital equipment. The growing cities of America make quality health care scarcer to the abounding populations of people, specifically those of lower classes and poverty level citizens. According to a study conducted by the Institute on Race, Health Care, and The Law, which was conducted in September of 1999, “Health care disparities also are the result of discrimination, differences in quality health care, and socioeconomic barriers.” Programs that do not take into consideration the effects of race, gender, health conditions, and income run the risk of only making the problem of unequal access to health care an even wider issue.
Unfortunately, the United States has unequal access to health care for all citizens, however, there are ways that the government and citizens can work to improve upon the health care system in America as well as help to change the views on health care in the United States. First of all, health advocates can submit complaints and reports on how the health care access is divided and unequal for all citizens of the country. Lobbyists may also submit complaints to law making officials and political candidates advocating that all American citizens deserve to receive equal and nondiscriminatory access to health care benefits. In order to stop the widening issues of unequal access to health care, citizens, law making officials, policy makers, and lobbyists must all join together in order to stand up for a major issue that affects all of the United States.