We know that good health-largely through our balanced diet and lifestyle including exercise -is real wealth because unhealthy people are unable or unwilling to contribute much towards progressing towards a sustainable, eco-friendly economy, with a vision of building a just, peaceful and all-inclusive society.
On Sunday, April 7, exactly a week before Sri Lanka’s national New Year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and most countries marked World Health Day. In a statement, the WHO says universal health coverage is its number one goal and the key to achieving it is ensuring that everyone can obtain the care they need, when they need it, in the heart of the community.
According to the WHO, progress is being made in countries in most regions of the world. But millions of people still have little or no access to health care. Millions more are forced to choose between health care and other daily expenses such as food, clothing and even a home. The WHO says that is why it selected universal health coverage as the theme for this year.
What WHO aims to achieve through the campaign is to help people better understand what universal health coverage means, what services and support should be available and where.
“We will provide visual material that helps people who have access to quality, affordable health care to understand what life is like for people without it and to advocate for equal access to care. Healthcare workers will have an important role to play in the campaign, helping healthcare decision-makers recognize what people need in terms of care, particularly at the primary care level,” the United Nations-affiliated WHO says.
To mark World Health Day, the WHO released its annual publication of health data, the World Health Statistics Report. The report includes information on health trends in specific areas such as newborn and child health, non-communicable diseases, mental health, and environmental risks, and also data on universal health coverage and health systems.
Some international health analysts believe, that the WHO mainly due to the lack of funds is being influenced to the extent of being afflicted by transnational drug companies, more notoriously known as the international drug mafia. The United States, the largest contributor to the UN and its affiliated bodies, has drastically cut funds, mainly after the inconsistent and unreliable President Donald Trump, took office in January 2017. But at the US mid-term elections in November last year, the Democratic Party won a large majority in the House of Representatives and many analysts believe the main cause was President Trump’s unhealthy mess on the repeal of what he calls the Obama Care Disaster and his failure to come up with a better plan.
Some international health analysts believe the WHO has been influenced by the international drug mafia to reduce the danger levels for non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cholesterol and pressure. Thus the analysts say millions of diabetes, cholesterol or pressure patients have been created. International medical mafia could sell more drugs and also testing equipment.
In Sri Lanka, even yesterday hundreds of public hospitals were paralysed and poor patients suffered because of a strike by nurses and other paramedical personnel asking for better salaries and a regular promotion scheme.
Often and on relatively flimsy grounds the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) –claiming to be Asia’s most powerful trade union, with 15,000 to 20,000 members – launches strikes at public hospitals though the doctors practise at private hospitals. As for the most these private hospitals, what was once a vocation, like the priesthood, later became a profession and now it is one of the most profitable business ventures, tragically even some medical specialists directly or indirectly support this by prescribing the most expensive drugs and non-essential tests.
The crisis is so critical that millions of people say that 30% to 40% of their income goes for medical expenses. So much for the Hippocratic Oath and the pledge to give first priority to the patients, in the healthcare process.