Poverty, Health and Business
International development and ethics
Poverty and businesses have a significant correlation in their practice. Within the global economy, it is necessary for enterprises to look for ways in which they can alleviate poverty. However, despite the increasing number of corporations and small and medium enterprises coming into existence, the gap between the rich and the poor continues to widen. This realization demonstrates that in some ways, businesses do benefit from existing poverty and thus, they are less incentivized to alleviate it. Primarily, within poor economies, businesses can get access to cheap labor and resources (Uddin, International Development, 2019). The existential problem for the poor is to survive, as opposed to making profits. As such, they are more likely to take poor pay and have less bargaining power as opposed to those who are wealthy and understand the value of resources. Again, the poor are less versed on the law and thus they will not understand which laws some business practices in labor violate and the remedy. Their ignorance acts as a point of manipulation. Businesses will use the poor to cut costs and increase profit margins such as in the cases of sweatshops in Asia and Africa
Secondly, poor countries create economies that disfavor the poor. The use of trade agreements with wealthier nations see the poor nations cede on many negotiation points to earn foreign direct investments. Some leases and contractual agreements for multinational companies offer them government support such that smaller enterprises find it much harder to compete in the market. For instance, multinational corporations raise the barriers of market entry, the government puts in place regulations that do not protect local businesses and the with the high capital investment requirements, the poor in such economies face multiple hurdles in the elimination of poverty and thus, they are likely to remain exploitable to the larger businesses (Uddin, International Development, 2019).
As a solution to poverty, the use of other solutions such as microfinancing and Fairtrade are more likely to offer long-lasting results as opposed to the use of international aid. Aid and donors create an economy of reliance. The poor depend on these donations and they become part of their economies. Governments and the population are therefore unlikely to come up with homegrown and innovative solutions that would reduce this dependency (Uddin, International Development, 2019). Again, the aid money becomes an item that requires poor governments to cede some control to their donors. As such, they create policies in politics and governance that will keep them in favor with their aid donors as opposed to helping their economies thrive. One case in the recent past has been the sanctions that the United States of America have put on Rwanda due to their ban on second-hand clothes. To the benefit of their growing economy, Rwanda has stood its ground. International Aid provide short-term solutions to social problems and thus, the people will remain in a cycle of seeking temporary fixes to recurrent issues. Hence, less developing nations remain poor as they lack long-term solutions for change (Uddin, International Development, 2019).
Microfinancing and Fairtrade on the other hand would precipitate economic growth by establishing innovative business ideas that can enable small and medium-sized enterprises to have the right environment to thrive. The local population can use the financing to develop businesses or projects that work towards economic liberation and a preservation of their sovereignty as a government. Those in poverty will have the capacity and resources to take charge of how they get out of poverty. Fairtrade agreements will reduce the unregulated access that wealthier nation have in developing countries (Uddin, International Development, 2019). They become equal trading partners whose products and resources can circulate the economy without higher tariffs or anti-competitive trading practices.
Health care as a business or human right
Health has an effect on every person on the planet and thus it is necessary to enforce methods through which governments can offer critical services to its population. Primarily, there are three modes of funding healthcare. First, in state funding, the government taxes the population to provide health services. This mode reduces the overall administrative costs, increases equity in care and finance, as people receive the same treatment and pay what they can. More people are also likely to seek treatment. Contrariwise, patients have less choices as the government has to decide on what services it will cover. The health budget competes with those of other key areas such as education (Uddin, 2019).
The use of private funding entails the collaboration of employers and employees into a health scheme. Patients get to enjoy a choice and higher quality of service as the best service provider gets the scheme. It reduces the reliance on public health care. Lastly, everyone who pays more, get better service. Unfortunately, it is not related to income as the poor pay more. Those at high risk of diseases pay more and it necessitates higher administrative costs.
However, it is the opinion of this essay that a social method of healthcare would benefit the population more as compared to other methods. Though this modality works under a high regime of income taxes, more people get services irrespective of their health risk, income and poverty levels (Uddin, 2019). This contribution is efficient in its transparency of use and it risk pooling. Its use on nations such as Norway has improved health outcomes, increased the rights of patients and improved quality in treatment.
Healthcare services ideally should not be a business. This statement is true as healthcare negatively affects the provision of health. The core functions of enterprises are to create wealth and rake in profits. However, health is a critical service which deals with the wellbeing and survival of man. Health care as a human necessity is based on the Universal declaration of Human Rights of 1948 (Uddin, 2019). Every person on the planet needs this guarantee to ensure their survival and the capacity to enjoy quality life. Bodies of governance therefore need to create equitable opportunities that ensure all citizens of the world can attain the highest levels of health care.
Making health care a business removes the connotation of it being a right. Businesses seek to maximize resources and profits for individual gain. The sale and buying of health care stratify society, in a manner that ensures only those with the means to health care can attain it. It locks out the poor or those who have certain disabilities from accessing goods and services that are imperative to their survival (Uddin, 2019). The poor have to experience a disparity in the quality and affordability of care in a manner that disenfranchises them. Contrariwise, making it a right as well has negative political connotations. Its politicization alienates the poor further as they will become perceived as a disadvantaged group that governments have to seek funding to satisfy. Again, the focus on it being a right focus on treatment than prevention (Uddin, 2019).
Perhaps the best approach would be to make it a negative right. The government or any other body must not prevent one from buying or accessing it. However, its planning should take into consideration social stratifications such as the poor and the wealthy can access quality health services based on their capacities to buy it.
Uddin, J. (2019). Healthcare as a business or a human right? In Business and Society (pp. 1-46). Kings College London .
Uddin, J. (2019). International Development. In KIF, Business and Society (pp. 1-46). Kings College London .
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