Finding Healthcare: A First-World Problem

Finding Healthcare

In a developing nation, the problem isn’t deciding which doctor to choose, or which specialist you need to see, or which health insurance to go with. Your challenge is finding any doctor at all. If it happens to be one that knows something about your particular illness, so much the better.

U.S. citizens have a very different experience with healthcare. A homeless person living on the street cannot be turned away from an emergency facility, the inability to pay notwithstanding. Most of us are not homeless, and have much better options like low-cost community clinics, and state medicate for people under a certain income level.

That said, first-world problems are still problems to those living in the developed world. It is just that we have to put those problems in perspective. If we tried to explain our healthcare challenges to someone in a developing nation, they wouldn’t understand what we were talking about, or why it was a problem.

Here are some of our most pressing healthcare problems as they might be seen through someone else’s eyes:

Affordable Healthcare Options

The International Labor Organization says, “Four out of five people in this world do not have access to affordable health care. The need for urgent medical treatment can ruin a family without notice.” Concerning national healthcare, they go on to say:

In most developing countries, the statutory health care system covers exclusively formal sector workers and their families. Even though governments may provide basic health care services for informal economy workers and the poor, medication and treatment typically require out-of-pocket payments. It is those payments that push families into poverty…


These facts were recounted after telling the story of a couple who went from owning their own business, to sinking into the depths of poverty for the sake of an emergency c-section. Their story is not uncommon.

In the U.S., we have a different set of problems. We have the challenge of choosing which affordable healthcare option we will use to cover the vast majority of our medical expenses. This statement by USHealth Group highlights just how different the two worlds are:

Our mission is to protect our customers from financial hardship due to unforeseen illness or injury. Simply stated, we provide peace of mind in keeping the promise of financial protection afforded by our insurance coverages.

It is important to note that USHealth Group is but one of many companies keeping America’s self-employed from suffering severe financial loss due to a simple medical procedure.

Advanced Diagnostics

Sometimes, advanced diagnostics require us to have to overcome a fear of needles, and climb into large machines with small spaces and loud, scary noises. For many people, these problems are quite severe. But the severity of the problem is balanced against the fact that enduring them for a short time can quite literally save our lives.

Developing countries have a different set of problems with regards to advance diagnostics. Largely, they don’t have access to advance diagnostics. The World Health Organization reports that nine out of ten people with vision problems live in developing nations. 80% could be cured or prevented. That means the leading cause of vision problems around the world is a lack of advanced diagnostics.

iPhone applications have been developed to combat the problem. Clinicians can use these clever apps to diagnose many problems, and even provide a remote optometrist with enough information to make glasses. Fortunately, we have diagnostic tools more advanced than iPhones. It is all a matter of perspective.

Choosing a Doctor

There are close to a million doctors in the U.S. This list of 20 countries around the world combine for around a quarter of that number. If doctors represent wealth, America has an embarrassment of riches. Finding a doctor is easy. Just look up from your smartphone. Choosing a doctor is hard. Fortunately, there’s an app for that.

To find the right healthcare solution, both doctors and patients are finding each other through social media. Clients can afford to be choosy. And doctors have to treat their practices like any other business. But these are first-world challenges that people in developing nations wish they had. That’s something to think about the next time you have to wait an extra 15 minutes for your next appointment.

Article Submitted by Derrick Manning ( Community Writer)

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