Healthcare privatization had become a topic for continuous discussion over the last years when people realized that there was a gap between the quality of healthcare and the cost of insurance in the US. People believe that the privatization of healthcare would improve the level of professional competence and patient care, even if the price remains the same. However, the modern US healthcare system is also aimed at developing public health facilities that could potentially help people avoid diseases. There are various government organizations across the state that promote a healthy lifestyle and preventative care. For this reason, both governmental and private healthcare facilities should meet a compromise in terms of quality treatment and successful public health campaigns.
To begin with, the public healthcare system is beneficial for the state in a number of ways. First of all, even if prices on insurance are unreasonably high, people are still able to ask for help at medical establishments, as the government is obliged to take care of the country’s residents. Secondly and most importantly, the records of diseases can be easily collected throughout the country to form the statistics of the disease rate in the state. With such data, governors and health professionals are able to allocate social and financial support for a certain disease type or social group.
Moreover, these records can even help prevent the outbreak of epidemics. The brightest example can be shown in terms of today’s COVID-19 pandemic, as public hospital records are now provided directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to control the situation. People also have access to the live coverage of the pandemic online on the major American media platforms like The New York Times or CNBC. Hence, both US residents and politicians can observe the development of the situation to take immediate actions if necessary. The same can be applied to cases of lower emergence like chronic disease rates.
However, once the healthcare system is privatized, the government will no longer be available to gather all the necessary information in a matter of days. The chief officers of medical facilities will have to provide the data from the establishment in order to be collected in one place and analyzed (Brock, 2004). Thus, even though private healthcare can be beneficial for individual care, the disease rate in the country can be considerably affected by privatization.
Communicable human disease management is one of the major goals of the public healthcare system due to the fact that these diseases can commence an epidemic or a rapid outbreak. In order to control the spreading of such diseases across the United States, each state has a special document, called Communicative Disease Reporting Form. It is usually filled out when a patient has a communicable disease or even a disease suspicion. In such a way, both local and federal departments of epidemiology receive approximate data on the number of people affected so they could constrain or declare an epidemic. In the case of privatization, the epidemiologists would be either deprived of the real data, or these records would be obtained much later than usual.
Another important aspect of public healthcare is the availability of credible communication channels. Once there is a health threat to the country’s population, official communication channels are the first sources to be checked by the residents. The privatization will lead to the open market of medical establishments, and the information provided by the facilities may vary according to the source. Hence, general disinformation can lead to severe state health complications.
When it comes to public health management, both opportunities for the governmental and private medical sectors should be concerned. First of all, the major issue of the private healthcare system is a competitive market that can potentially mislead the population. The only way to avoid this competitiveness is for the government to establish a monopoly of a particular medical company so that it could be in charge of emergencies (Duggan, Gruber, & Vabson, 2018).
However, in order to choose a monopolist company, the government should make a serious contest, which requires much money and effort. When it comes to communication, the government-supported public health system has the obvious benefit of general trust and credibility. Private companies, on the other hand, are at the advantage of creating more modernistic approaches towards health promotion. Hence, whereas they both benefit the healthcare prevention system, the main question for further researches would be in which case the broad audience will lose more.
Taking everything into consideration, it can be concluded that the issue of healthcare privatization will remain relevant for a long time. The major aspect of interest in the situation lies in the fact of public health system managing, as it is now one of the most significant concepts in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, while the decision of medical privatization is not made unanimously, both structures should coexist in symbiosis in order to save people’s lives and prevent every possible threat for the state.
Brock, A. (2004). Public health, primary care, and privatization. Florida Public Health Review, 1, 63–66.
Duggan, M., Grubber, J., & Vabson, B. (2018). The consequences of health care privatization: Evidence from Medicare advantage exits. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 10(1), 153-186.