World Health Day – 7th April 2018

Posted on Monday, April 9, 2018 by Elly HannaNo comments

Saturday marked the 70th World Health Day, with this year’s theme being ‘Universal Health Coverage: Everyone, Everywhere’.

The concept of universal health coverage requires that across the world, everyone must have access to quality healthcare whenever and wherever they may need it. Citizens must not only be able to physically access the care, but said access must not put them in a place of financial hardship. As part of the sustainable development goals agreed in 2015, all UN Member States pledged to try to attain this by 2030.

This anniversary provides an opportunity to review the current state of play while we strive towards this monumental goal. On a global level, further progress is crucial, with the World Health Organisation determining that at least half of the world’s population is currently unable to obtain essential health services. Even where such services are available, almost 100 million people are forced into extreme poverty to afford them.

On the other hand, the UK’s NHS is viewed as a great success on the global stage. In 2017 the Commonwealth Fund announced that for the second year in a row it had named the NHS the best healthcare system in the world. Crucially, it surpassed the other countries in regards to equity – meaning the ability to access a good level of healthcare was not dependent on income. This proves that the NHS promotes the concept of universal health coverage. 

For Venn Group candidate Megan Smith, this proved crucial after being diagnosed with a brain tumour: 

“I had always been told how terrible the NHS was, and how long the wait times were. But fortunately, when it is critical, the NHS is absolutely amazing…Being admitted into hospital within two days, having my full diagnosis the next day, first surgery 5 days after my CT scan, then the second surgery 6 weeks later. I had access to and treatment by some of the greatest neurosurgeons in the world. 

I couldn’t possibly imagine how expensive the costs would have been for my 2 major surgeries, 4 MRI’s, 2 CT scans, 1 X-ray and countless blood tests…The costs would have been astronomical and I am so glad and lucky to have had the exceptional care with no out of pocket expenses. So when people complain about having to pay taxes or surcharges for the NHS, I tell them my story about how I never thought I’d need it, but I did and one day they might need it too.”

While the NHS is by no means perfect – with concerns surrounding its finances and the buzzword of ‘deficit’ hitting the headlines on a regular basis – it is hard to argue against the benefit it brings to the UK and its population. Venn Group is a specialist recruiter to the NHS in a variety of areas, both clinical and non-clinical, and is proud to support the organisation with skilled professionals who help ensure it runs smoothly.

by Maire Gerrard

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