There is no higher form of existence in the known universe than being human and every human being should be able to live with the dignity that comes with it. Health is most fundamental among factors that bring dignity to human life. To call health a human right itself is demeaning because ‘right’ is a transactional concept. Right is something that you gain from outside, whereas health is something most inherent to us all. Health is a human right only so much as breathing is a human right. It should not need external validation to be healthy just like I do not need validation to breathe.
Today we live in a world of material abundance and sufficiency and technology for the first time ever has made it possible to most of our pressing problems and for everyone on the planet to lead a meaningful life. This is especially so in the case of healthcare. But even today half of the worlds population does not have access to even basic healthcare and illness is the most disrupting force in the lives of vast majority of people. All this springs from the fact that the most benevolent of human achievements are held hostage by vested economic interests around the world.
Free Health Movement is an enlightened movement that aims at giving healthcare back in to the hands of the people. It’s about democratization of healthcare. It’s about responsible behavior by all involved. By individuals, by care providers and by companies that create the technology. As in the case of the open source software movement, it’s about freedom of self-determination when it comes to one’s own health.
The first barrier to be broken is the belief that it is healthcare that keeps us healthy. The first step towards free health is the understanding that it is in the hands of the individuals to keep themselves healthy through the practice of wellness and preventive measures. This is the most affordable way to attain health. So Free Health Movement strongly advocates health awareness and the incentivization of wellness and preventive practices.
The second step would be to liberate healthcare providers from the clutches of vested interests who manipulate them to promote high cost products and services. In order to free the providers, it need to be made sure that they are comfortable and competent doing what they are supposed to do, through technology enabled mechanisms that incentivizes competence and benevolent behavior.
The third and most challenging step would be to bring the cost of healthcare down to the extent of zero out of pocket expense for all. This can be achieved only by promoting low-cost technologies, by eliminating profit seeking middle players and by creating highly cost-efficient systems based on transformational concepts like Outcomes-Based Healthcare.
This will require the coming together of a large number of stake holders, starting with civil society organizations and governments. Other players include health agencies, healthcare providers, technology providers, research organizations, donors and social investors.
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