BY: CLAIRE KIM
How horrific would it be if healthcare services denied medical aid to those who were coming to their deathbed in a matter of days? Claiming that it’s too expensive to offer quality service or medical treatments, patients would die one by one without the opportunity to survive in the hands of their “doctor”. In the end, hope for recovery subsides as money and profit inflate in priority.
For the past twenty years, this is how the poor were treated in Africa when pharmaceutical companies neglected their calls for help. Focusing on the finances that come with such aid rather than the aid itself, many hospitals often overlooked the importance of patient vitality by using nonsense excuses of “cost” to back them up.
It’s relieving to hear that hospitals have finally stepped out of such a mindset in the current year as studies regarding HIV treatment show that “nearly 20 million Africans are now on H.I.V. treatment — for less than $100 a year” (New York Times). Along with these staggering numbers, almost all professional medications for diseases like cancer have been priced low enough for mass purchase in underdeveloped areas of the world.
Now, the opposite dynamic is occurring: companies are racing to become the most charitable hospitals in the world by actively helping those who need medical aid urgently. It’s great to witness this but we can’t get ahead of ourselves too far yet. An important thing we have to realize is that such an advancement is only possible if more companies continue to keep up with this trend, as a loss of one large investor can ruin the entire wave in an instant. Some of the highest-achieving companies currently are GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson so if any of these businesses pull back or fall apart this trend will be in danger sooner or later.
The good thing is such cases are not super probable looking at the current success both companies have been accumulating over the past few years. Hopefully, more stable companies enter the race as well so that the impoverished can gain maximum support from medical services as soon as possible.