Do you think healthcare is a privilege or a right?

Do you think healthcare is a privilege or a right?

The winner of the Miss USA pageant has sparked a debate after stating that healthcare is a privilege and not a right.

Kate McCullough, a scientist working for the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said, “As a government employee, I’m granted health care and I see firsthand that for one to have health care, you need to have jobs.”

The comments come as President Donald Trump attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act which provides health insurance for millions of lower paid Americans.

Currently in Ireland a person can have private healthcare which they could pay in the thousands for – others who are unemployed or on lower paid jobs can be entitled to a medical card.

A medical card obviously entitles them to free healthcare in their GP or a hospital. They do pay a small fee for a prescription. The prescription charge is €2.50 for each item that is dispensed to you under the Medical Card Scheme, up to a maximum of €25 per month, per person or family.

The number of people in Ireland with a medical card to the end of January 2017 is 1,669,721.

That means that over 1 million people in Ireland get free healthcare. Here is a list of things a person with a medical card can get:

  • Doctor Visits – a range of family doctor or GP services from a chosen doctor contracted to the HSE in your local area;
  • Prescription Medicines: The supply of prescribed approved medicines, aids and appliances like wheelchairs, crutches etc. In some circumstances a deposit may be required for aids and appliances which will be refunded on return of the aid or appliance. A €2.50 charge applies to all prescription medicines dispensed to medical card patients;
  • Certain Dental, Ophthalmic (Eye), and Aural (Ear) health services;
  • Hospital Care – all in-patient services in public wards in public hospitals, including public consultant services;
  • Hospital Visits – All out-patient services in public hospitals, including public consultant services;
  • Medical & Midwifery Care for Mothers, including health care related to pregnancy and the care of the child for six weeks after birth;
  • Some personal and social care services, for example, public health nursing, social work services and other community care services based on client need.

Some may also be entitled to the following additional benefits if you have a Medical Card:

  • No need to pay the health portion of your social insurance (PRSI);
  • Free transport to school for children who live 3 miles or more from the nearest school;
  • Exemption from state examination fees in public second-level schools;
  • Financial help with buying school books. The benefits above are available from the relevant government department.

What I want to ask you today is – should those people have to pay a fee for having a medical card for example a 10 per usage.

Or do you think that is unfair?

If you think they should pay then surely you believe healthcare is a privilege. If you think they shouldn’t pay then you think healthcare is a right.

Is healthcare a privilege or a right?

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