Health care policy in under-developed countries

The poorest 2 billion people on this planet enjoy just $100 spent on their health care each year. Health policy in low-income countries is not in favor of locals who often die from causes that could be easily prevented. These include HIV, Malaria, TB, and diarrhea. The result is not only the human tragedy, wasted lives of the individuals concerned but also the economic impact it has on the family and the local community.

Health care is usually provided in one of two ways. (a) from the public purse, and (b) from private health insurance. Since in under-developed countries, there is no economic market to attract private healthcare providers, we are left with just option (a) The public purse.

If we take Cambodia as an example of an under-developed country we have a situation where nominally every citizen has the right to free healthcare. Sounds good. But then we look at reality the situation is that there are lots of charges in these state hospitals. Frequently essential supplies are unavailable, so the patient will have to go out and buy them. Many citizens have not got the money to pay the fees and/or buy medical supplies, so they do not go to the hospital. Cambodia is typical of most under-developed countrieshealth care policy for poor patients

Governments in under-developed countries are often totally overwhelmed with the problems of providing healthcare in their countries. All of them rely on various world agencies and charities to provide aid. How this aid is distributed will have a great effect on the level of funds each province receives. In most of these countries, the area around the capital will have a higher provision of health care than far-off regions.  Unfortunately, in some countries, the building of a clinic will have more to do with political patronage than the actual need in that area, with aid money being used to buy support.

The truth of the matter is that impossible decisions are being asked of government officials. Is it better to open 10 clinics and then not have the funds to supply and staff them, or to open two clinics that are fully supported?


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