Who Should We Let Die?, by Koyejo Oyerinde
Embedded in the “Health for All by the Year 2000” slogan was the notion of health as a human right. Yet, when we don’t guarantee health services to all, we are unwittingly answering the question, Who Should We Let Die?
America doesn’t provide healthcare services as a right of citizenship. Instead, it has a treatment system dominated by profit-orientated healthcare insurers, hospital corporations, medical device companies, and pharmaceutical corporations. In Who Should We Let Die? Dr. oyerinde describes it as a GoFundMe health system because almost half of the supplicants on the eponymous website are there to raise funds to pay for hospital bills.
The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us that poorly handled local epidemics become pandemics. As enunciated in the Alma Ata Declaration, we need quality primary healthcare-based systems to detect diseases early and promptly alert health authorities to outbreaks. Such a system will not depend on GoFundMe campaigns or out-of-pocket payments for health services. Only a groundswell of demand by the public for good governance will get us to universal health coverage by 2030. Dr. Oyerinde presents illustrative anecdotes provoking conversations that could lead America and developing countries on their path to universal health coverage.